Telia signs deal to exit from Geocell

TeliaSonera telecom operator Mobile service provider Telia has signed its deal to exit from Georgia-based telecom operator Geocell.

The exit from Geocell is part of the strategy of Telia’s decision to focus on the Nordic and Baltic regions and leave Eurasia.

Geocell, founded in 1996 as the first mobile company in Georgia, has 2 million subscribers and its network covers more than 98 percent of Georgia.

Fintur Holdings, jointly owned by Telia and Turkcell, will sell 100 percent of its stake in Geocell, to the Georgian telecommunications company JSC Silknet, Georgia’s largest fixed network operator, for a transaction price of $153 million.

The transaction price of $153 million corresponds to an EV/EBITDA multiple of 4.5x based on 2017. The transaction is expected to result in a capital loss of SEK 0.1 billion (in addition to the impairment of SEK 0.6 billion recognized in December 2017), and net proceeds of SEK 0.7 billion.

Silknet is Georgia’s largest fixed network operator and has market share of 41 percent of the Internet market in Georgia and 48 percent of the fixed telephone market. Silknet is owned by the three local investors George Ramishvili, Alex Topuria and David Borger.

Fintur Holdings, a 58.55:41.45 percent joint venture between Telia and Turkcell, has holdings in Telia Company’s Eurasian operations Kcell, Azercell, Geocell and Moldcell.