NASDAQ and Euronext Amsterdam-listed telecoms group VEON issued a statement on 11 February confirming that it has deposited a public mandatory cash tender offer (‘MTO’) with the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority (EFRA) for the remaining 42.31% of shares it does not own in its Egypt-based sub-division Global Telecom Holding (GTH) at a price of EGP5.30 (USD0.30) per share (up to a total value of USD600 million). The offer represents a 50.5% premium over GTH’s average six-month share price on Egypt’s stock exchange. The EFRA is currently reviewing the MTO, which can only commence when EFRA approval is granted.
VEON intends to take GTH private following the MTO. The Netherlands-headquartered group currently owns 57.69% 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 GTH shares after the EFRA 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.