Telenor of Norway is offering a 5.1% stake in Amsterdam-headquartered, Russian-backed telecoms group VEON (formerly VimpelCom) to raise approximately USD373.5 million and reduce its remaining shareholding to 14.6%. The move continues Telenor’s strategy of exiting the multinational operator, having carried out sales of VEON shares in September 2016 (9.3%, USD574 million) and April 2017 (4.0%, USD262 million), following which the Norwegian firm ceased treating VEON as an ‘associated company’ in its financial reporting.
Telenor – via Telenor East Holding II AS – is offering 90,000,000 shares of VEON in the form of American Depositary Shares (ADSs) listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and common shares listed on Euronext Amsterdam at a public offering price of USD4.15 per ADS/common share. The offering is expected to close on 25 September 2017.
Telenor has indicated that this month’s transaction will be the final divestment of its VEON ADSs, as it expects to use the balance of its remaining ADSs to exchange and/or redeem an exchangeable bond instead.