Team LLC, the new venture set up by brothers Hayk and Aleksandr Yesayan in April 2020 after they jumped ship from rival altnet Ucom, said on Friday (10 July) that it has secured regulatory approval to acquire the country’s largest operator by revenue VEON Armenia (trading as Beeline).
Armenia’s State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition (SCPEC) made its decision to allow the merger on 9 July, including the condition that the newcomer must not allow ‘mass layoffs’ (more than 10% of the total number of employees) for at least six months after the merger deal goes through. Subsequently, on 10 July the industry regulator, the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC), gave its permission for the sale of 100% of VEON’s shares to Team LLC to go ahead.
In April this year the Yesayan brothers, who along with a small management team started Armenian alternative operator Ucom back in 2009, announced plans to create a new company (initially dubbed ‘AllNet’), aiming to ‘create a better operator than the one we founded twelve years ago’. Earlier that month the two brothers and several hundred employees had resigned from Ucom after disagreements between senior staff and shareholders who reportedly wanted to appoint VEON Armenia (Beeline) CEO Andrey Pyatakhin at the helm of Ucom if a merger of the two operators went through. In the wake of the brothers leaving, however, Amsterdam-based VEON withdrew from talks over the possible sale of VEON Armenia to Ucom in May this year and entered into talks with Team LLC last month. The value of the sale, which is expected to close soon, has not been disclosed.