Thursday, February 11, 2016 —
The acquisition of BASE Company NV ("BASE") by Telenet Group Holding NV (hereinafter "Telenet") and the subsequent sale by BASE of its 50% stake in VikingCo NV ("VikingCo") to MEDIALAAN NV ("MEDIALAAN") have taken place today. Both transactions were completed following the approval of the Belgian Competition Authority and the European Commission, on January 28 and February 4, 2016, respectively.
On February 4, 2016, Telenet announced that the European Commission had approved its planned acquisition of BASE. Based on this approval, Telenet and Koninklijke KPN N.V. proceeded to implement their agreement for the acquisition of BASE by Telenet for 1,325 million.
The acquisition of BASE is financed through a combination of existing cash and cash equivalents, and committed loans. To this end, Telenet International Finance S.à r.l., the group's finance centre, has fully drawn the outstanding commitments under the Term Loan AA, amounting to 800 million, supplemented by withdrawals of 200 million and 217 million respectively, under the revolving credit facilities Z and X. The remainder, including related fees and expenses, will be financed through existing cash and cash equivalents.
In light of the European Commission's approval and following the Belgian Competition Authority's approval, BASE then sold its 50% stake in VikingCo, the entity that operates the 'Mobile Vikings' brand in Belgium, to MEDIALAAN immediately after the acquisition. MEDIALAAN has also gained control of the other 50% of shares in VikingCo, and has thereby become the sole owner of Mobile Vikings' customer base. VikingCo now operates as a 'light MVNO' on the BASE network.
Last year, Telenet also signed an agreement with MEDIALAAN to transfer the entire 'JIM Mobile' customer base to MEDIALAAN, at the latest within two years. The current branded partner agreement between BASE and MEDIALAAN, on the basis of which the JIM Mobile products are being sold at this point in time, will still continue for some time. BASE will transfer the JIM Mobile customers to MEDIALAAN, at the latest within two years, which will enable MEDIALAAN to become a 'full MVNO' player on the BASE network for both JIM Mobile and Mobile Vikings customers. The transaction creates a platform for MEDIALAAN to become a new, high-performing MVNO player.
There are no changes for the customers of Telenet and BASE for the time being.