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Proximus Group snaps up BICS for $690m

MTN and Swisscom sell last shares giving group full ownership and decision power.

By João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

3 Mins

February 09, 2021 | 12:27 PM GMT

Proximus Group has closed on the acquisition of BICS and TeleSign, becoming the sole owner of both brands.

The transaction valued at €569 million (approximately US$690 million), saw Proximus grabbing 20% and 22.4% of issued shares from MTN and Swisscom’s shares in BICS respectively.

Last summer, Proximus communicated to the market that the shareholders of BICS were exploring a potential sale of 51% of the company’s shares. 

After investigating different options, Proximus concluded that the best way to execute upon its plans and have the necessary flexibility to create long-term value for BICS and TeleSign was to acquire 100% ownership of BICS. MTN and Swisscom will remain important commercial partners of BICS, the company said in a statement.

BICS addresses business-critical needs of telecoms players, virtual network operators, service providers, enterprise software providers and global enterprises. 

In its turn, TeleSign is a fast-growing digital leader specialised in authentication and digital identity services to the world’s largest internet brands, digital champions and cloud native businesses. 

Matteo Gatta, BICS CEO, said: “With the support of Proximus, we will accelerate this trajectory. Thanks to our scale we are best positioned for the inevitable international voice market consolidation, while pursuing opportunities to strengthen our core mobility services. 

“In addition, we are increasingly exposed to the fast-paced digital transformation, thanks to our best-in-class Cloud Communications, IoT, and All-In Roaming solutions which build upon BICS’ extensive network reach. With Proximus on our side, we are committed to long-term value creation for BICS and to the success of our customers”.

Guillaume Boutin, CEO of the Proximus Group, added: “I am convinced we can unlock the next growth phase of BICS and leverage BICS’ potential to consolidate a scattered market, while continuing to invest in key growth areas. 

“Furthermore, we want to support TeleSign’s fast growth as digital leader in programmable communications and digital identity services. I have full confidence in the capacity of Matteo Gatta and Joe Burton, as recently appointed CEOs of BICS and TeleSign, to guide this acceleration and ensure a bright future for both entities.”

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João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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