ice group: simplified ownership structure and de-merger approved, new CEO appointed
23 August 2018 – Reference is made to ice group’s announcement dated 31 May 2018 and EGM minutes dated 15 June 2018 regarding the simplified ownership structure and de-merger of ice group’s non-Scandinavian assets. All conditions for the de-merger have been successfully met, and the creditor notice period for the de-merger has expired.
The approved de-merger marks a new chapter in the development of ice group AS ("ice group" or the "Company"). Firstly, it enables a business strategy with sole focus on Scandinavia. Secondly, it unlocks a simplified and more transparent ownership structure. In this new structure, all shareholders will be consolidated in ice group AS, which in turn will own 100% of ice group’s Scandinavian business. Additionally, ice group’s Indonesian and Philippine operations will be spun out into a stand-alone entity.
All shareholders in AINMT Holdings AB have accepted the company’s offer to swap their shares into shares of ice group AS, demonstrating that shareholders recognise the benefits of the simplified and focused ownership structure.
As a result, ice group AS has today filed for the completion of the de-merger with the Brønnøysund Register Centre. The company expects the completion of the de-merger to be registered and effective within the next week or so.
Upon completion of the de-merger, ice group shareholders will receive one share in the de-merged entity for every share they hold in ice group AS. The de-merged entity will consist of the joint ventures in Indonesia and the Philippines and will be named Net1 International AS. It is expected to be listed on the N:OTC market in the first week of September 2018. Further details about Net1 International will be shared after the de-merger has been registered.
To further build on ice group’s successful Norwegian growth story, the new ice group board of directors (see announcement dated 21 August 2018) has appointed Eivind Helgaker as the company’s CEO. Mr. Helgaker has been head of ice group’s Norwegian business since 2009, a function he will retain. During this period, he has led ice in Norway from being a niche mobile broadband provider with NOK 80 million in annual revenues to becoming Norway’s third largest network operator and provider of voice and wireless data services with 2017 revenues of NOK 1.1 billion, successfully challenging the duopoly of Telenor and Telia.
“The ice team in Norway has generated fantastic growth under Eivind’s leadership. He has assembled a strong organisation with an excellent operational track record. Together they have a built a new 4G network as well as a highly competitive and customer-centric brand in record time. With Eivind working in tandem with CFO Henning Karlsrud, we have a local and dynamic leadership duo with extensive operational, financial and strategic experience from the telecoms sector,” says Hans Holger Albrecht, newly elected chairman of ice group and former CEO of Modern Times Group and Millicom. Prior to joining ice group in January this year, Henning Karlsrud was senior vice president and head of group strategy at Telenor Group.
Former ice group CEO, JD Fouchard, and deputy CEO Johan Michelsen, will both continue in advisory roles to ice group until the end of the year, supporting the new management in a transition period and readying ice group for the next phase of its development in Scandinavia.
Next priorities in Scandinavia
The new and simplified ownership and business structure will result in a more focused strategy for ice group. The ice group board of directors has therefore tasked the executive management team to identify suitable actions and initiatives that will make ice group even more competitive in Scandinavia and maximize long-term value creation for the company’s shareholders.
As a result, ice group is working on a number of plans to further improve its competitive position in Scandinavia and continue the accretive network build-out in Norway. This includes assessing various options for raising capital, such as listed equity, to finance the company’s next growth phase.
In June, ice group signed a contract with Nokia that provides the framework to facilitate further network build-out in Norway at favourable terms, with the purpose of significantly increasing the number of base stations beyond today’s 1,900 base stations, thereby minimising national roaming costs through higher share of on-net traffic. Ice group has recently entered into a new national roaming agreement in Norway, which offers a higher level of flexibility and more favourable conditions with regards to building out the company's own network.
For further information, please contact:
Investors: Henning Karlsrud, CFO of ice group, tel: +47 93 04 53 89
Media: Eivind Helgaker, CEO of ice group, tel: +47 95 88 30 35
These materials are not an offer for sale of securities in the United States. Securities may not be sold in the United States absent registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or an exemption from registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended. ice group AS does not intend to register any part of any offering in the United States or to conduct a public offering in the United States.