By Sudip Kar-Gupta
BRUSSELS – Amsterdam-listed mobile telecoms operator VEON said on Wednesday it had won approval from Russian regulatory authorities for the proposed sale of its Russian operations, driving up its shares.
Many international companies have been scaling back in Russia or pulling out altogether in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We are pleased to have reached this significant milestone in the transaction, which is expected to be accretive to equity, reduce VEON‘s debt, and improve its credit profile,” VEONCEO Kaan Terzioğlu said in a statement.
VEON shares were up around 5% in early trading.
Last November, VEON announced plans to sell its Russian business Vimpelcom to senior members of the Vimpelcom management team, led by CEO Aleksander Torbakhov, for 130 billion roubles ($1.83 billion).
Veon operates the Beeline brand through Vimpelcom in Russia, and its role in Russia had been complicated by the fact the company runs the Kyivstar mobile network brand in Ukraine.
“There is still a long and challenging road ahead, but we remain confident that we have chosen the best possible scenario for the further development of our company. First and foremost, for our customers. In this way, we will be able to ensure continuity on the current track, an uninterrupted service and quality services,” said Beeline CEO Alexander Torbakhov.
VEON added it expected the sale of its Russian operations to be completed around June 1.
($1 = 71.0000 roubles)