Veon confirms it’s aiming to sell business in Russia

Veon, the Dutch-based operator of telecommunications networks, said it is aiming to sell its business — Vimpelcom — in Russia.
VEON business networkVeon generates more than half of revenues and earnings from its business Russia.

Veon said it was conducting a competitive sales process for the business, which operates under the Beeline brand.

“There can be no assurance that the sales process mentioned above will result in an acceptable offer or, even if an acceptable offer is obtained and results in an acquisition agreement being reached, that the requisite approvals will be received,” Veon said in a news statement.

Veon’s position in Russia is difficult as it also has significant operations in Ukraine, where it has struggled to keep its Kyivstar arm operating throughout the conflict.

Veon CEO Kaan Terzioglu told Reuters in March he hoped the company would be allowed to continue operating in both markets and spared nationalization on humanitarian grounds, as an essential service.

Veon said on Wednesday it hoped to broker the best possible outcome for the company, shareholders, creditors, customers and employees both inside and outside Russia.

Beeline had earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 20 billion roubles ($325 million) through the first eight months of 2022.

Veon is due to report third quarter earnings Thursday, Nov. 3.

Beeline Russia reported revenue of $795 million for the period ended 31 August, 2022. Beeline Russia posted growth in service revenue and EBITDA, while lower equipment sales impacted total revenue. QTD service revenues increased 1.7 percent and EBITDA increased 6.4 percent due to the growth in mobile and digital services.

Beeline focused on improving the quality of the customer base, with 46.7 million mobile subscribers at the end of August, of which 26 million are 4G users. While the total mobile subscriber base declined, the 4G customer base grew 3.8 percent, Beeline Russia said.

In Ukraine, Kyivstar focused on maintaining its network accessibility and putting its customers first. During July-August, customers benefited from airtime and data bundles as the Kyivstar team works to ensure that people remain connected.

Veon in August said it received $682 million following the completion of the sale of its stake in Djezzy Algeria. This transaction follows Veon’s strategy to streamline its portfolio.