Sweden’s Tele2 Group has announced that it plans to exercise the put option stipulated in its joint venture (JV) with Kazakhtelecom in Kazakhstan. By serving the put option notice to Kazakhtelecom, Tele2 has effectively initiated the sale process of its stake in the Tele2-Altel JV, which has been active since March 2016.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in a transaction announced on 12 December 2018, Kazakhtelecom acquired a 75% stake in rival mobile operator Kcell for USD446 million, from Telia Company and Fintur Holdings (jointly owned by Telia and Turkcell).
Tele2 notes that the Kcell takeover triggered the possibility for Tele2 to exercise its put option and sell its shares in the JV to Kazakhtelecom, as the JV agreement includes customary non-compete clauses.
Running in parallel, on 11 December the Kazakhstan Antimonopoly Agency approved the possibility of Kazakhtelecom acquiring Tele2’s shares in the JV, including remedies to promote continued competition.
The Kazakh mobile sector is currently contested by three operators: market leader Beeline, second-placed Kcell and Tele2-Altel.