Vimpelcom attracts ‘concrete’ buyer for unwanted African assets; Laos deal imminent

19 Jun 2013

Amsterdam-based international telecoms group Vimpelcom is said to be close to concluding a deal to sell its assets in sub-Saharan Africa, TMT Finance reports, with U-Com Burundi, Telecel-RCA (Central African Republic) and Telecel Zimbabwe collectively valued at between USD300 million and USD400 million. Although the deal has yet to be finalised, the agreement is said to be ‘concrete’. Interestingly, the buyer is said to be a private equity investor, rather than one of the major telecom groups in the region that had previously been linked with a potential deal. Standard Chartered is advising Vimpelcom on the transaction, having been hired in 2012 to find a buyer for its non-core assets.

In related news, Vimpelcom is also said to be close to finalising the sale of its 78% stake in Beeline Laos, following the sale of its Cambodian unit Sotelco (Beeline) to its local partner earlier this year, and the disposal of its 49% stake in Vietnam’s GTEL in 2012, also to its local partner. The Laotian deal is expected to ‘conclude in a similar fashion’, suggesting that a local company will buy the firm, with a deal anticipated ‘within months’. It is believed that the Laos government holds the remaining 22% stake in Beeline.

Burundi, Central African Republic, Laos, Zimbabwe, Telecel Zimbabwe, Telecel-RCA (Centrafrique), TPLUS (formerly Beeline Lao), VEON