NASDAQ and Euronext Amsterdam-listed telecoms group VEON issued a statement yesterday confirming that it remains committed to simplifying its corporate structure, including by addressing its strategic relationship with Egypt-based sub-division Global Telecom Holding (GTH), with the aim of taking GTH private. Russian-backed VEON has as yet been unable to obtain the necessary guidance from the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) to allow it to proceed with taking GTH private, but stated that it will ‘continue to explore these requirements with the FRA and engage with other stakeholders in order to reach a resolution’.
VEON owns 57.7% of GTH and already consolidates the results of GTH subsidiary cellcos Jazz (Pakistan), Banglalink (Bangladesh) and Djezzy (Algeria). As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in April 2018 VEON withdrew an offer for the remaining 42.3% of GTH shares after the FRA failed to grant approval. Subsequently, in October 2018 VEON cancelled an offer to take full direct ownership of GTH’s Pakistan and Bangladesh units due to currency devaluation in Pakistan and an apparent initial negative reaction to the offer by GTH minority shareholders.