Team-Beeline takeover suspended under Ucom lawsuit; alternative bidder emerges

18 Aug 2020

Armenian fixed and mobile operator Ucom reports on its website that the Yerevan First Instance Court of General Jurisdiction has applied an ‘interim measure’ blocking the takeover of larger rival VEON Armenia (Beeline) by Team LLC – the start-up venture formed by Ucom’s former directors, brothers Hayk and Aleksandr Yesayan. Ucom stated that the court ‘partially’ approved its motion to stop Team concluding the acquisition, although it refrained from providing further details, noting that subsequent clarifications will be publicly disclosed ‘if needed’. Ucom’s lawsuit alleged ‘unfair competition’ due to Team’s usage of ‘undisclosed information possessed by Ucom’ in the negotiations with Beeline. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, last month Team secured regulatory approval to acquire Beeline, the country’s largest operator by revenue.

Meanwhile, another start-up has launched a rival bid for Beeline. Novatel LLC, established around two months ago, is seeking to acquire 100% of the target company, the venture’s CEO Minas Yerznkyan confirmed to local press. Mr Yerznkyan, quoted by news site ARKA, stated that Novatel is owned by Armenian entrepreneurs ‘who have worked for world-renowned companies’, with a proposed development strategy for Beeline focusing on nationwide high speed 4G, 5G and bundled fixed/mobile services. Yerznkyan also claimed that ongoing negotiations on the potential Beeline bid had ‘advanced sufficiently’ although no final offer price had yet been determined.

Armenia, Team LLC (Team.Telecom Armenia), Team Telecom Armenia (formerly Beeline), Ucom, VEON