Sigfox seeks a buyer

Sigfox seeks a buyer

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

French IoT network operator Sigfox has filed for commercial protection in a Toulouse court as it looks for a buyer.

“The decision to place Sigfox under the protection of the Justice through this proceeding was made because of a slower-than-expected adoption cycle for its technology, despite effective shareholder support,” said the company . “In addition, the IoT sector has suffered from the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, slowing down activity over the past two years and putting the pressure on the electronic components market, now in shortage. These factors combined have strongly impacted the company’s financial situation, in particular its debt level, which now makes it difficult to speed up the development of Sigfox and its worldwide recognized technology in an increasingly competitive market.”

The Commercial Court of Toulouse opened the receivership / rehabilitation proceeding with an initial observation period of six months. This will allow the Sigfox group to continue all its commercial activities and allow the identification, through the implementation of a takeover plan, of new buyers, it says.

The company has been developing the first energy harvesting sensor node for it network with power management chip supplier Nowi and continues to look to recruit new networks and customers.

However the company has struggled even before the pandemic, as it had a combination of its own networks and partner networks in 72 countries and regions. The German network was sold off to fund manager Cube Infrastructure Managers (Cube) which also bought a majority stake in Heliot Europe, the owner and operator of the Sigfox networks in Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, to create a Europe-wide IoT network.

Cube saw the deal as bringing together the networks of all four countries to create the largest IoT network in Europe and makes Cube the most likely buyer of the technology that underpins its networks.

In February last year, the head of the US operation replaced founding CEO Ludovic Le Moan. The company has raised $308m since it was founded in 2010.

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