Telenor selling more Veon shares as it prepares to relinquish ownership

Telenor is selling a 4% stake in Veon – formerly VimpelCom – for around $259 million.

The Norwegian firm is looking to divest its minority holding in the Netherlands-based group, and is selling 70 million shares in Veon at an offer price of $3.75 per share. The offering is open until 12th April.

Following the sale, Telenor will retain around 346.7 million shares in Veon, which constitutes a holding of 19.7% valued at $1.3 billion. In September, the Scandinavian firm sold 164 million shares in Veon – a roughly 8.1% stake – through a US public offering.

Telenor has been steadily reducing its holding in Veon since October 2015, when it announced that it would look to pull out of its ownership arrangements with the group due to the “challenging” experience that it had presented. At the time, Telenor held a 33% stake in Veon.

The ‘challenges’ mentioned Telenor likely refer to its continued disputes with VimpelCom’s other key shareholder, Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman. Ownership arrangements between the parties precluded the possibility of Telenor assuming full control over Veon, which no doubt precipitated its decision to divest its holding.

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