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The transaction represents the private equity firm’s sixth investment in the Nordic region where the business says will continue to deliver on “substantial investments”.
Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital
October 26, 2021 | 10:40 PM BST
French private investment group Ardian Infrastructure said it is acquiring a 100% stake in Míla ehf. (Míla), the largest integrated telecommunications network in Iceland, from telecoms operator Síminn Group (ICE: SIMINN).
The transaction represents Ardian’s sixth investment in the Nordic region, its first in Iceland, and its fourth investment in the telecommunications sector.
Reykjavík-based Míla owns a network comprised of fixed broadband, mobile access, and backhaul covering the entire country.
Síminn is selling the entire collection of digital infrastructure, including both active and passive equipment. Shares in the company have been trying at the highest since the company entered the public markets, having increased 1,67% in the last 24 hours of trading.
Ardian said it will support Míla’s efforts to enhance the country’s connectivity through “substantial investments” carried out with Icelandic pension funds that will enable the rollout of additional fibre and 5G technology.
Gonzague Boutry, Managing Director in the Ardian Infrastructure team, said: “We are very proud to have secured this unique investment, which is a perfect example of Ardian’s vision and leadership in telecommunications infrastructure.
“We believe that this acquisition, which comprises an entire integrated network, including passive and active equipment, will pave the way for similar transactions within the telecommunications industry.”
Síminn will remain Míla’s long-term anchor. Post-separation, Míla will become one of the main platforms for wholesale services in Iceland.
Orri Hauksson, CEO of Síminn, added: “We are delighted to have signed this transaction with Ardian as a buyer of Mila, but more importantly, as a long-term infrastructure partner. Síminn will continue to be a strategic customer, and Míla will now become fully independent with an opportunity to flourish on its own.”
Jón Ríkharð Kristjánsson, CEO of Mila, said: “At the same time this is an exciting turning point for Míla. With Ardian Infrastructure‘s support, Mila as an independent infrastructure provider with holistic service offerings can help to enhance the competitiveness of Iceland‘s telecommunications market.”
Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed and the deal is yet to receive clearance from local competition authorities.
Ardian has today assets worth US$114bn managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The company is majority-owned by its employees.
Dr. Daniel von der Schulenburg, Managing Director and Head of Ardian Infrastructure for Germany, Benelux and Northern Europe, said: “The Nordic countries are a core region for the Ardian Infrastructure team, with strong fundamentals and attractive investment opportunities. For us, Míla is a long-term investment and a platform for growth.
“We intend to invest continuously into Iceland’s coverage and look forward to continuing to deliver top quality service and connectivity solutions.”
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