French company Ardian is not prepared to finalise its purchase of Icelandic telecommunications company Míla unless the purchase agreement is amended, RÚV reports. Iceland’s Competition Authority set several conditions for the purchase following a meeting with Ardian representatives last week, informing the company that the purchase would not be approved unless those conditions were met. Ardian’s spokespeople say that one of the conditions contradicts the terms of the purchase agreement.
Key infrastructure valued at ISK 78 billion
Míla, which owns and operates nationwide telecommunications systems in Iceland, was sold to Ardian last year. All of Iceland’s homes, businesses, and institutions are serviced by Míla’s telecommunications infrastructure, which includes copper wire, fibreoptic, and microwave systems. The purchase agreement from last October was evaluated at ISK 78 billion [$570 million; €562 million].
Various parties in Iceland have expressed concern regarding the sale of such important infrastructure to a foreign company. Iceland’s government imposed certain conditions on the sale as well as amending legislation in an effort to ensure national security would not be compromised by Ardian’s ownership of Míla. Ardian
Further negotiations likely
A notice from Síminn to Nasdaq Iceland stated that the Competition Authority’s conditions were burdensome and negatively impacted the purchase agreement for Ardian. The notice stated that further negotiations were required between Síminn and Ardian, as well as between Ardian and the Competition Authority. Ardian is a fund management company and its representatives have stated that the purchase of Míla is a long-term investment.
Ardian representatives have not specified the details of the dispute.