On Monday, May 31, the owners of SIA Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT), Baltijas datu pārraides tīkli and IT security solutions group Santa Monica Networks (SMN) signed a capital shares sales agreement allowing the LMT to become the sole owner of SMN. However, the completion of the transaction depends on the consent of market supervisors from Latvia and Lithuania.
This transaction will allow both companies to introduce the 5th generation network solutions faster and in a more efficient manner. Juris Binde, the President of LMT, underlines: "LMT is no longer just a communications operator, as we use various IT solutions to deal with complex business transformation tasks. With Santa Monica Networks, we share the innovator DNA. By combining LMT's experience in mobile communications with the capacity of an experienced developer of data transmission networks and IT security solutions, we will become the leader of digital transformation. Together, we will become the best partner in digitization processes for any public body or private company."
Uģis Bērziņš, Chairman of the Board of SMN: "For many years, we have driven innovation by introducing the latest technologies in the business environment of Latvia. Together with LMT, we will be able to make another step into the future by developing various 5G business solutions and extending the range of our customers who will enjoy access to the most advanced technologies and corporate technical solutions."
"Livonia Partners invest in market leaders and teams of entrepreneurial managers and businessmen. Santa Monica Networks is an excellent testimony to that. In 2003, Santa Monica Networks was founded by Uģis Bērziņš. Together with an outstanding team, he has managed to build a network solutions market leader that is based on his vision of technologies and their role in customers business. We are grateful for the opportunity to support the Santa Monica Networks team with capital and our knowledge. We are convinced that as a part of LMT group this company will achieve even more," claims Kristīne Bērziņa, a founder and partner of Livonia Partners, the previous owner of SMN.
Both companies expect to continue operating as separate legal entities. The transaction still needs to be reviewed by the Latvian and Lithuanian competition supervisors.
During the negotiations, Superia and Tofte & Company were the leading financial advisers of the seller, while the buyer was supported by PricewaterhouseCoopers that provided business and financial advice. Ellex provided legal advice to the seller concerning the transaction, and law firm Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns did the same for the buyer.
About Santa Monica Networks: Since 2003, the IT business group SMN founded in Finland in 1989 has offered solutions to the largest telecommunications, IT and media companies of Latvia, as well as public bodies, financial institutions, and manufacturers of Latvia and Lithuania. Its service portfolio includes development of innovative solutions, data transmission networks, as well as design, technical solutions, installation, maintenance and management of cloud computing and IT security systems. SMN has cooperated with leading international manufacturers of data transmission networks, data centers and IT security infrastructure products, including Cisco, IBM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Juniper Networks. It is one of the very few companies in the Baltic States that has received the CISCO Systems Gold Certified Partner status.
About LMT: As to the number of customer connections, turnover and network coverage, LMT is the largest mobile communications operator in Latvia with the most extensive customer service network. Being an undoubted innovations leader, the LMT offers its customers a complete range of high-quality telecommunication services: voice communications, high-speed unlimited mobile Internet, as well as mobile TV LMT Straume and LMT Smart TV. For an extensive period of time, the LMT has focused on the deployment of the next generation 5G network in Latvia and has developed various digital solutions for drones, smart cities and sensors, mobility and defense. With big data, machine learning, AI and the latest advances in mobile communications, the LMT develops innovative services for local and international customers. Together with partners from other countries, the LMT has joined a number of European research projects (COMP4DRONES, SPARTA, iMUGS, and 5G Routes) to develop a framework for creating products with high added value in Latvia.
About Livonia Partners: Livonia Partners is a private Baltic equity investment company that currently manages EUR 83 million. In May 2021 before a new fund was opened for investment, the FCMC registered a new Livonia Partners fund manager. This company was founded by Kaido Veske, Kristīne Bērziņa, Rain Lõhmus and Mindaugas Utkevičius; and it has local and international institutional investors. They include the Baltic Innovation Fund, joint initiative of the Estonian, Lithuanian, Latvian and European Investment Fund, as well as the Baltic and Nordic pension funds.
Valdis Jalinskis, Head of Public Relations Division at LMT
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