Lyse completes acquisition of Ice Group Scandinavia Holdings

31 Mar 2022

Regional industry group Lyse has completed its acquisition of Ice Group Scandinavia Holdings (IGSH) from Ice Group and its subsidiary AINMT. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the transaction was announced last month when it was revealed that the deal would involve the acquisition by Lyse of all issued and outstanding shares of IGSH and such additional assets and shares, including 100% of the shares of Ice Communication Norge (ice), Phonepartner Norge Holding and Ice Retail Holding. With the deal implying an enterprise value of approximately NOK5.56 billion (USD618 million), Ice Group said it expected to receive cash proceeds of approximately NOK3 billion.

Alongside confirmation of the deal’s completion, Norway’s National Communications Authority (Nasjonal kommunikasjonsmyndighet, Nkom) has confirmed it has processed the transfer of ice’s frequency licences. Earlier this month the regulator launched a consultation on the potential transfer of the licences, saying at the time it would pay particular attention to frequencies in the 3.6GHz band. It said it was doing so because both ice and Lyse subsidiary Altibox held spectrum in that band, which when combined would broach a 120MHz cap that was set as part of its 3.6GHz frequency auction which concluded in September 2021.

Now, in approving the licence transfer, Nkom has published a final decision document in which it said it had specifically assessed matters regarding the 3.6GHz band. In so doing it had determined that while the combined spectrum holdings of Lyse and ice would offer ‘some advantages in terms of flexibility in utilising the frequency resources and in offering stable services at high speeds’, there was uncertainty as to whether these benefits would be cost-effective to realise. As such, it said it had determined it was unlikely the spectrum licence transfer would have a detrimental effect on competition.

Norway, Altibox (incl. Lyse Tele), ice, Lyse Group, National Communications Authority (Nkom, formerly NPT)