Netherlands-based operator group Veon has announced that it has completed its exit from Russia with the closing of the sale of its Russian operations to a group of senior members of the PJSC VimpelCom management team, led by VimpelCom CEO Alexander Torbakhov.
As previously announced, the transaction does not provide for any buy-back arrangements and signifies a complete exit from the Russian market for Veon, a company that points out that it serves six high-potential emerging markets, delivering higher growth and operating with a lower leverage and ample liquidity.
Taking a positive view of the announcement, Veon Group CEO Kaan Terzioglu says: “The closing of the sale and the completion of our exit from Russia allow us to fully focus our energy on the way forward, meeting the growing demand in our markets – Pakistan, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan – with our digital operator strategy.”
In September we reported Veon’s announcement that had it finalised the sale of its Russian unit.
Reuters points out that Russia has tightened exit requirements since Western companies started leaving in the wake of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. However, this deal, worth an estimated US$2.2 billion, seems to be a rare example of a Western business selling its operations in Russia for a sizeable sum.
The deal was expected to be completed by 13 October; in fact it seems to have gone through a day or two early.