Gibson Dunn, Selmer and Wikborg Rein advise on KKR’s purchase of minority stake in Norwegian fibre business

KKR-led consortium acquires 30% of Telenor Fiber, a spin-off from Norwegian telecoms company Telenor

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and Norway-based firms Selmer and Wikborg Rein were among the advisers on US private equity firm KKR’s acquisition of a minority stake in Norwegian telecommunications company Telenor’s fibre network spin-off Telenor Fiber.

Gibson Dunn and Selmer both advised KKR while Wikborg Rein advised Telenor on the deal, which saw Telenor sell a 30% share of the new fibre business to a consortium led by KKR. The transaction values Telenor Fiber at NOK36.1bn, equivalent to around $3.4bn. Co-investors in the consortium include Norwegian public pension fund Oslo Pensjonsforsikring. Telenor Fiber owns around 130,000km of fibre optic cables in Norway, connected to more than 560,000 homes. The transaction is expected to complete early next year.

Tone Hegland Bachke, executive vice president and CFO of the Telenor Group, said: “This transaction highlights the value in our infrastructure and unlocks capital to support continued high fibre roll-out in Norway, and we are bringing in strong investors with a long-term horizon. Following the transaction, Telenor will propose that parts of the proceeds are used for share buy backs.”

The Gibson Dunn team was led by the firm’s co-chair of projects and infrastructure and European private equity co-head Federico Fruhbeck in London, alongside London corporate and private equity partners Rob Dixon and Alice Brogi and Fruhbeck’s private equity co-head Wim De Vlieger. Also involved was Brussels-based antitrust partner Attila Borsos and London tax co-chair Sandy Bhogal.

Selmer’s team was led by corporate department head Camilla Magnus alongside partners Nils Kristian and Liv Monica and associates Margaret Solberg and Emilie Tjeldnes.

At Wikborg Rein the team was led by corporate, finance and tax practice chief Ole Henrik Wille and included partners Caroline Landsværk, Anders Myklebust and Hanne Zimmer, senior associate Cecilie Haadem and associate Alex Winterwold.   

Julian Barratt-Due, director of European infrastructure at KKR, said: “KKR has significant experience within telecom infrastructure investing, and we look forward to supporting Telenor with its fibre strategy in Norway.”

Gibson Dunn has been investing heavily in its London team over the past year. In June it added tech-focused partners Joel Harrison and Alison Beal from Milbank, while in December last year it added a quartet of senior private equity hires from Sidley Austin and Linklaters, including De Vlieger. In October last year, Fruhbeck, Dixon and Brogi all joined from Vinson & Elkins.


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