Thu, Aug. 18, 2:27 PM
- Telenor (OTCPK:TELNY +1.9%) is still working out how to divest a $2.5B stake in VimpelCom (VIP +0.7%), a move it planned last October amid multiple government probes into bribery at VimpelCom.
- But a key problem is that the only other obvious buyer is Mikhail Fridman and his LetterOne, with whom Telenor has been in open conflict over control of VimpelCom.
- "We have hired financial advisers that are helping us to plan how our exit will happen but we don't know what the structure will look like. We are in a planning phase," says Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke.
- Telenor lost its chairman last fall as part of the VimpelCom fallout, and the company cut ties with its ex-CEO, who had been working as a consultant.
- VimpelCom agreed to a $795M settlement of a U.S. and Dutch probe over its dealings in Uzbekistan.
Oct. 5, 2015, 10:26 AM
- In a strategic shift, Norway's Telenor (OTCPK:TELNY +2.5%) is divesting its "challenging" multibillion-dollar stake in Russia telecom provider VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP)
- VimpelCom ADRs were up 2.7% in the early going in U.S. trading.
- Telenor has a 33% stake in VimpelCom that is worth more than $2.4B. “The VimpelCom asset, where Telenor holds a minority position without the possibility to fully control the company, has been challenging,“ says its chairman, Svein Aaser.
- The probes in the U.S. and the Netherlands into possible bribery at VimpelCom have raised controversy in Norway over Telenor's holding.
- The sale could take some time, and Telenor says it's expecting a related noncash impairment of 7.5B Norwegian krone (about $900M) against Q3 earnings.
- Previously: U.S. telecom probe seeking to seize $1B in European assets (Aug. 13 2015)
Sep. 11, 2015, 11:41 AM
- Sweden's TeliaSonera (OTCPK:TLSNY +0.1%) and Norway's Telenor (OTCPK:TELNY -1.7%) have abandoned a merger of operations in Denmark amid strict opposition from EU regulators -- the first such opposition after a couple of years of mobile consolidation.
- That consolidation happened under then-Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, who was succeeded by Margrethe Vestager last November.
- "What we were looking at were very serious concerns," said Vestager about the Danish market. "To me it was necessary to have a fourth mobile operator." She said there shouldn't be conclusions drawn about the UK and Italy, however, where similar deals could reduce the number of national operators to three each.
- TeliaSonera and Telenor faced a relatively easier tie-up in Denmark operationally, as the two already share a network, but also thus had fewer options for divestment to satisfy regulators.
- Shares in Danish market leader TDC fell 7.7% in Copenhagen, and are down 8.2% in OTC trading (OTCPK:TDCAF).
Telenor ASA is a holding company. Through its subsidiaries, Telenor ASA provides fixed and mobile (analog and digital) communication networks and also develops, sells and distributes communication, entertainment and information services in the Norwegian private and business markets. The Company... More
Industry: Telecom Services - Domestic