Bigblu Broadband announces disposal of Brdy AS and Brdy Nordics AS

LONDON, UK: Bigblu Broadband plc has announced the sale of its Norwegian operations, Brdy AS and Brdy Nordics AS, to Brdy Holding AS, a company formed by the Norwegian Management Team and former CEO Andrew Walwyn.

Bigblu Broadband announces disposal of Brdy AS and Brdy Nordics AS

The enterprise value of the units sold is £1.3 million, with an initial consideration of £1 and potential additional contingent considerations based on future EBITDA performance.

The disposal aligns with Bigblu’s strategy to divest assets and mitigate risks associated with future cash flows. The Norwegian operations have faced challenges, including high customer churn and competition from fibre providers, leading to a reorganization and workforce reduction by 30%, saving approximately £0.4 million annually. Despite these efforts, customer numbers have dropped from 9.6k to 6k within two years.

For the financial year ending November 2023, the Brdy Group reported revenues of NOK 52.8 million but incurred a loss before tax of NOK 42.6 million. The Board explored various options, including a potential shutdown, before deciding on a management buyout, which they believe serves the shareholders’ best interests.

As part of the transition, Bigblu Broadband has entered into service contracts with Bigblu Operations Limited, involving trademark licensing, legal, IT, and executive support services. These agreements, along with the disposal, are considered fair and reasonable by the company’s independent directors and advisor, Cavendish.

Following the sale, Bigblu aims to focus on its Australian operations and its stake in Quickline, expecting to further reduce annual central costs by about £0.4 million. The move marks a significant shift in Bigblu’s operational focus and a step towards an asset-light business model.

Michael Tobin OBE, Chairman of Bigblu Broadband, commented: “Post the previous business unit disposals we examined alternatives for the remaining business units. After a full market exercise, we feel that the decision to exit the Norwegian operations via a Management Buy Out supported by Andrew Walwyn is in line with our stated strategy. To prevent any conflicts arising perceived or otherwise for good governance and after discussion with Andrew the board accepted his resignation with immediate effect.  

As Chairman on behalf of the Board I would like to express our gratitude for years of hard work and diligence taking the business from a private company, through the listing in 2015 to supporting the realisation of value for all BBB shareholders. We wish Andrew every success in the future.”

Frank Waters, Chief Executive Officer of BBB plc, commented: “This is an important strategic disposal for the Group as it allows the Company to exit from its Norwegian operations without incurring the costs associated from potentially closing it down and also allowing us to reduce cash outflows and reduce central plc costs. It also enables the Board to focus on realising value from its remaining assets, being Skymesh in Australia and its minority shareholding in Quickline.

Bigblu Broadband agrees to dispose of Quickline holdings in a £48.6 million deal

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