Netherlands-based VEON announced today (29 October) that it has struck an agreement to sell its fixed and mobile business in Armenia, VEON Armenia (trading as Beeline), to Team LLC (Team.Telecom Armenia) – the business created by brothers Hayk and Aleksandr Yesayan when they jumped ship from rival operator Ucom in April this year. TeleGeography notes that back in the summer, the brothers – who are widely credited with turning Ucom into one of the country’s most successful businesses before they unloaded their shares amid a dispute over the direction of the firm’s future – applied to the State Commission for Protection of Economic Competition (SCPEC) for permission to buy 100% of the shares in VEON Armenia. The move followed parent group VEON’s own filing to SCPEC and the Public Services Regulatory Committee (PSRC), seeking permission to sell its shares to Team LLC, and while Ucom itself had filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent the deal, the courts threw out its case in September leaving Team LLC and VEON free to complete negotiations. VEON anticipates that the transaction will close shortly.
In a press release announcing the sale agreement, the current owners said: ‘The sale of our Armenian operations is in line with VEON’s ambition to simplify the Group’s structure and enhance its operational focus on markets with attractive long-term growth opportunities. The value of the transaction equates to an EV/EBITDA multiple of 2.9x based on 2019 reported EBITDA.’