24 Nov 2022 15:55

VEON agrees to sell VimpelCom to management

MOSCOW. Nov 24 (Interfax) - VEON telecoms holding has entered into an agreement to sell PJSC VimpelCom to local management headed by Alexander Torbakhov, CEO of the Russian company, VEON said in a statement.

The transaction is expected to close by June 1, 2023, with the possibility of extending the closing dates under certain conditions.

VEON will receive 130 billion rubles from selling the asset, VimpelCom said in a statement. It is expected that the total consideration will be paid primarily by VimpelCom taking on and discharging certain VEON Holdings B.V. debt, thus significantly deleveraging VEON's balance sheet.

The holding's net debt was $8.2 billion at end-Q3.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of requisite regulatory approvals, licenses from relevant government authorities and any required consent from VEON creditors.

As part of the transaction, ownership of VEON's Kazakhstan operations will be transferred to VEON Holdings B.V. and certain inter-company loans will be extinguished.

Aspring Capital investment bank acted as financial adviser to VEON holding on the transaction. The legal advisers were ALRUD law firm, acting on behalf of VEON, and LEVEL Legal Services, representing the top managers.

VEON said on November 2 that it was looking for a buyer for VimpelCom. The holding had not provided any additional detailed information on the transaction.

VimpelCom generates more than half of VEON's revenue. The Russian asset increased revenue 16.1% to $1.19 billion in the third quarter, while revenue in rubles decreased 6.1% to 70.7 billion rubles.