Amsterdam-headquartered, Russian-backed telecoms group VEON has agreed to sell its Beeline-branded mobile operating subsidiary in Tajikistan to local investment partners. VEON representative Maria Piskunenko told Russian newspaper Vedomosti on Friday that the group has signed an agreement on the sale of British Virgin Islands-registered Vimpelcom AG, which owns 98% of Tajikistan’s Tacom (operating as Beeline), to ZET Mobile Limited which currently holds a 2% stake in the operator. Further details of the transaction were not immediately available, whilst deal completion is dependent on regulatory approval.
Earlier, Dushanbe-based Asia-Plus Media (News.tj) quoted a source at Beeline Tajikistan confirming that the Beeline brand will be retained locally despite any change of ownership. VEON is known to have been considering an exit from Tajikistan’s mobile sector since early 2017 over concerns at the country’s erratic taxation system, which has badly impacted on profitability in recent years. Beeline currently sits in fourth place in the Tajik cellular market, behind Tcell, Babilon-M and MegaFon.