In a strategic move aimed at bolstering Norway’s space capabilities, Telenor Norway has successfully concluded the sale of its satellite business to Space Norway for a staggering NOK 2.36 billion ($228 million). The transaction, which received approval from the Norwegian Parliament just before Christmas, marks a significant shift in ownership of Telenor Satellite, a leading European provider of satellite TV broadcast and VSAT data communications services for maritime and land-based sectors.
Space Norway, an entity wholly owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries, sees this acquisition as a game-changer. The deal positions Space Norway, comprising Statsat SA, HEOSAT, and KSAT, as the largest satellite center in the country and a major player in Europe. According to Space Norway CEO Dag H. Stølan, “With ownership of Telenor Satellite, Space Norway gains new opportunities for development and growth. We are now the largest and leading satellite competence center in Norway and a significant satellite operator in Europe.”
Beyond business considerations, the acquisition is viewed as a strategic move to safeguard Norway’s sovereignty and critical services, especially in times of geopolitical unrest. Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre emphasized, “The acquisition ensures that Norway maintains control over satellites crucial for critical societal functions and strategically important for the country.”
While Telenor bids farewell to its satellite operations with this divestment, the telecommunications company remains committed to providing satellite capabilities. Telenor and Space Norway have signed a letter of intent, outlining continued collaboration on new satellite services. Morten Tengs, CEO of Telenor Satellite, expressed optimism about the partnership, stating, “Together, we will continue to develop the Norwegian space sector as well as serve our clients throughout the Nordics and EMEA.”
In response to the sale, Telenor’s EVP Dan Ouchterlony affirmed the company’s strategic focus on its core business. “Telenor will no longer operate satellites, and we will focus on our core business. We are confident that Space Norway is the best possible owner to further develop Telenor Satellite,” he stated, highlighting the commitment to continuity and quality in customer services.