UnaBiz appointed as new owner of Sigfox SA and Sigfox France SAS
Singapore-based UnaBiz is the new owner of France-based ultra-narrowband IoT company Sigfox, the Commercial Court of Toulouse confirmed today. UnaBiz has acquired Sigfox SA, the primary technology company, and Sigfox France SAS, its network operator subsidiary in France. The deal, which takes Sigfox out of receivership, is for around €25 million, Enterprise IoT Insights understands.
The announcement concludes a relatively-short, but highly-fraught, sales process, which originally saw nine companies enter bids for the ailing IoT outfit, before the number reduced to just three in the final reckoning. UnaBiz’s offer went again bids from French engineering firm OTEIS France and UK venture firm Greybull Capital. UnaBiz had feared a knockout by the Ministry of the Economy on the grounds it is an overseas bidder.
A statement from the Commercial Court of Toulouse said: “The results of the receivership proceeding were unanimous, with UnaBiz endorsed as the best offer among nine initial bidders by the jury, administrators, the public prosecutor, Sigfox SA, Sigfox France SAS, and Sigfox employee representatives.” The administrators will work with UnaBiz and Sigfox’s management and the employee representatives to “ensure a smooth transition of ownership”.
UnaBiz has committed to “safeguard” 110 existing employees out of a total of 174 in France. It will make “financial and operational assessments” to protect the firm’s narrowband network and backend systems to reassure customers, it said. Sigfox has network operations in 75 countries; all networks, except in France and the US, are owned and operated by third-party Sigfox operators. The US business has been placed into bankruptcy.
A statement said: “To establish a more durable and collaborative global ecosystem, new strategies and governance will be put in place to facilitate engagements with Sigfox’ existing partners, customers, and operators to align stakeholders’ interests and support the company’s long-term development in its new chapter.
Henri Bong, co-founder and co-chief executive at UnaBiz, commented: “I want to thank the entire Sigfox community for supporting us, and the French government for authorising our investment. While the transition of ownership marks a new beginning for Sigfox, UnaBiz will definitely guarantee the French sovereignty of Sigfox.”
He added: “On top of securing the sales pipeline for Sigfox in the next 12 months as global markets emerge from the pandemic, UnaBiz and Sigfox will strive towards the convergence of LPWAN. The new Sigfox will reinvent itself and collaborate with other IoT communication technologies to seize new market opportunities.”
More to follow…