29 Mar 2023 12:43

VimpelCom bought back VEON bonds with face value of $1.26 bln and 23.9 bln rubles in Feb-March - report

MOSCOW. March 29 (Interfax) - PJSC VimpelCom bought back Eurobonds issued by VEON Holdings B.V. with a total face value of $1.26 billion and 23.9 billion rubles in February-March, the Russian telco said in a report.

Also during this period, exchange-traded and commercial bonds were issued with a total face value of 119.3 billion rubles with coupon rates from 7.30% to 11.35% per annum and maturities from 2026 to 2030.

VEON cannot currently convey payments on Eurobonds to investors whose bonds are held through Russian infrastructure, since international clearing systems are blocking such transfers to the National Settlement Depository due to sanctions imposed against Russia. Resolving the issue of payments to Russian holders of VEON Eurobonds was a condition for the authorities to agree on a deal to sell its Russian subsidiary, VimpelCom. Digital Development Minister Maksut Shadayev said at the beginning of February that the government commission for foreign investment approved the deal to sell VimpelCom to its management on the condition that VimpelCom will buy back at least 90% of VEON Eurobonds from Russian investors.

VEON now has five issues of dollar-denominated Eurobonds and three issues of ruble Eurobonds outstanding. Alor Broker in February proposed to all Russian holders of a dollar-denominated issue maturing in 2023 to buy back bonds at a 92.82% of the face value or swap them for new VimpelCom exchange-traded bonds. Then the same offer, which is non-binding, was made to holders of other issues.

Investors were offered the following buyback prices: for dollar -denominated Eurobonds-24 - 90.94% of face value, for dollar Eurobonds-23 - 92.71%, for dollar Eurobonds-25 - 88.14%, for dollar Eurobonds-27 - 79 .57%, for ruble Eurobonds maturing in June 2025 - 85.35%, for ruble Eurobonds maturing in September 2025 - 85.17%, and for ruble Eurobonds-26 - 86.61%. The owners of all issues could also opt to exchange Eurobonds for new VimpelCom exchange-traded bonds.

Deals for dollar bonds took place from February 27 to March 15 inclusive. Settlements were made in rubles at the Central Bank of Russia exchange rate on the date of the transaction. The period for concluding deals for ruble-denominated Eurobonds was set from March 2 to March 31 inclusive.