• Sep. 16, 2016, 9:18 AM
    • VimpelCom (NYSE:VIP) is down 5% premarket on solid volume after it announced pricing for the sale of a stake by Norwegian telecom Telenor (OTCPK:TELNY).
    • The 142.5M ADS -- 8.1% of the company -- will sell at $3.50 each. VimpelCom ADS closed U.S. trading yesterday at $3.63; they're quoted at $3.45 premarket today.
    • Telenor has been discussing getting out of its stake in VimpelCom for a year, with various hurdles to such a sale.
    • Underwriters have a 30-day option from Telenor to buy up to 21.375M additional ADS at that offering price. VimpelCom won't receive any proceeds.
    Sep. 16, 2016, 9:18 AM | 2 Comments
  • Sep. 15, 2016, 11:47 AM
    • Norwegian telecom Telenor (OTCPK:TELNY -1.5%) is considering strategic options for its $4.6B stake in Malaysia's Digi.com, Bloomberg reports.
    • Those might include a sale of those holdings if it can't find an Asian partner for a joint venture, sources told Bloomberg.
    • Telenor holds 49% of Digi, the No. 3 mobile service operator in Malaysia with about 12.3M subscribers. Digi's revenue dropped 4% in Q2 amid heavy competition in the country, as customers' average monthly bills fell about 6%.
    • Telenor's moves to finally unload a stake in VimpelCom (VIP +5.1%) could help with plans to expand in Asia. Its current stake in Digi is down from a 61% stake it held prior to 2008.
    Sep. 15, 2016, 11:47 AM
  • Aug. 18, 2016, 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.
    Aug. 18, 2016, 2:27 PM
  • 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)
    Oct. 5, 2015, 10:26 AM
  • 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).
    Sep. 11, 2015, 11:41 AM