Proximus goes all-in on BICS - Mobile World Live

Proximus goes all-in on BICS

09 FEB 2021

Proximus agreed deals to take 100 per cent control of wholesale player BICS after buying out stakes held by operators MTN Group and Swisscom, a move the Belgian operator said would create long-term value for the company.

Separate statements released by the three operators revealed Proximus was acquiring Swisscom’s 22.4 per cent stake for €110 million and MTN was divesting its 20 per cent stake for around €100.3 million.

Both deals are subject to customary closing conditions.

Proximus will also take 100 per cent control of BICS’ subsidiary Telesign as part of the deals: it described the prices agreed as “attractive valuations”.

It plans to now execute a growth plan for both businesses through organic investments in key domains, focus on cash-flow generation within the legacy business and play “an active role in capturing consolidation opportunities”.

MTN and Swisscom will remain commercial partners of BICS, the Belgian operator added.

Swisscom stated it believed it was the right time to sell its stake as it “wishes to invest only in strategically relevant businesses”, while MTN continues to advance a plan to reduce debt and simplify its portfolio.

Proximus announced in July 2020 it had entered into talks with minority shareholders to reduce its 58 per cent holding in the company to 49 per cent, however it has now gone the other way.

The transaction will be financed through Proximus’ existing €700 million credit facilities and gives BICS an overall enterprise value of €569 million.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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