Home » Industry » Vimpelcom to Sell Telecel Stake

INTERNATIONAL telecoms company VimpelCom intends to sell its shareholding in Telecel Zimbabwe and has since invited bids from interested investors, it has emerged.

VimpelCom gained a controlling stake in Orascom, which owns a 60 percent stake in Telecel Zimbabwe. The remaining 40 percent is owned by Empowerment Corporation.

“VimpelCom intends to sell its stake in Telecel and they have now reached a stage where it’s looking into the bids,” said one source who preferred not to be identified.

“The process is now at an aanced stage and the winner might be announced before month end.

“The bids were opened last week, but it may take up to 15 days to go through them.”

The New York Stock Exchange-listed firm with operations in Russia, Italy and some emerging markets has already sold its two businesses in Africa, in Central African Republic and Burundi, for $65 million to South Africa-based Econet Wireless Global.

Econet Wireless Global owns Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country’s largest mobile phone operator.

No official comment could be obtained from Telecel Zimbabwe, the country’s second largest mobile phone operator, by the time of going to print yesterday.

The disposal of the African businesses is part of VimpelCom’s strategic review of its assets.

Commenting on the disposal of the businesses in Burundi and CAR, Mr Andrew Davies, VimpelCom chief financial officer, said: “We have previously outlined our Value Agenda within which our operations are reviewed to assess their future value to the group. The decision to sell our operations in CAR and Burundi is a result of this process.”

VimpelCom, an international telecoms company operating in 14 countries and headquartered in Amsterdam, is one of the world’s largest integrated telecommunications services companies, providing voice and data services through a range of traditional and broadband mobile and fixed technologies in Russia, Italy, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Algeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan.

VimpelCom’s operations around the globe cover territory with a total population of approximately 739 million people. The telecoms group provides services under the Beeline, Kyivstar, Wind, Infostrada, Mobilink, Banglalink, Telecel and Djezzy brands.

As of June 30, 2014, VimpelCom had 220 million mobile customers on a combined basis. The company’s biggest assets are Russia’s third-biggest phone operator, VimpelCom, and Italy’s third-biggest mobile network operator, Wind.

VimpelCom has been investing in high quality networks across its operations to capture the opportunity from growth in mobile data and strengthen the company’s value proposition to customers.

Two weeks ago, the company signed a $1 billion credit facility with China Development Bank and Bank of China.

The credit facility will be used to fund capital expenditures for various operating companies.

Source : The Herald