VimpelCom (VIP) - NASDAQ
  • Wed, Jul. 20, 1:46 PM
    • Takilant Ltd. -- the company with ties to the daughter of Uzbekistan's president -- has been ordered to pay $135M by a Dutch court that found it guilty of accepting bribes from VimpelCom (VIP -2%) and Telia (OTCPK:TLSNY -4.1%).
    • That's the latest in a lengthy probe of telecoms that were charged with paying Takilant in exchange for spectrum and business opportunities in Uzbekistan. The company is linked to Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of Uzbek President Islam Karimov.
    • The probes in various countries led to VimpelCom agreeing to pay $795M in settlements.
    • Takilant was found guilty of bribery and forgery but escaped charges of money-laundering as there was no evidence the telecoms' money came from criminal activity.
    • Telia is still under investigation by Dutch prosecutors.
    | Wed, Jul. 20, 1:46 PM
  • Tue, Jul. 19, 11:19 AM
    • VimpelCom (VIP +0.7%) -- which has been subject to governmental probes in the past year over dealings in Uzbekistan -- is shoring up its compliance bona fides with new hires.
    • The company has named Dan Chapman its group chief compliance officer, and tapped Enrique Aznar (who's been working on global compliance at VimpelCom for three years) as its newly created chief values and culture transformation officer.
    • "Dan will focus on the next phase of our Group's Compliance development, building out a robust compliance framework," says General Counsel Scott Dresser.
    • Chapman, who has recently acted in chief compliance roles for Cameron International, Parker Drilling and Baker Hughes, has also served as vice chairman of the American Bar Association's Committee on International Anti-Corruption.
    | Tue, Jul. 19, 11:19 AM
  • Fri, Jul. 8, 1:57 PM
    • European regulators are set to clear a long-in-the-works mobile merger in Italy, Reuters reports.
    • The European Commission -- lately prone to blocking telecom consolidation on the continent -- is ready to sign off on a €21.8B combination of Three Italia, owned by Hutchison (OTCPK:HUWHY), with Wind Telecomunicazioni, owned by VimpelCom (VIP +1.7%).
    • Hutchison saw a similar deal blocked by the EC, to merge its Three UK unit with Telefonica's O2.
    • The move would make the combo the biggest wireless provider in Italy, competing against Vodafone (VOD +1.3%) and Telecom Italia (TI +2.3%), though Hutchison and VimpelCom agreed to concessions and asset sales to help create a new entrant in France's low-cost provider Iliad (OTCPK:ILIAY -4.2%).
    • The EC is scheduled to officially rule on the case by Sept. 8.
    | Fri, Jul. 8, 1:57 PM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Jul. 6, 1:56 PM
    • Hutchison (OTCPK:HUWHY) and VimpelCom (VIP +0.3%) -- trying to merge their Italian units Three Italia and Wind Telecomunicazioni -- have submitted a new concession plan to European regulators in the wake of a new entrant to the Italian market.
    • The two have worked against tough odds for months to merge the units into Italy's biggest wireless provider, but their agreement to sell spectrum, sites and services to enable France's Iliad (OTCPK:ILIAY) to enter the market have likely changed the game.
    • European regulators have taken a tougher approach to telecom consolidation under Margrethe Vestager. Regulators vetoed Hutchison's bid for O2 in the UK in May, and last year Sweden's TeliaSonera and Norway's Telenor called off a merger of their Danish operations after EC opposition.
    • Facing the increased likelihood that it will be displaced as Italy's largest wireless carrier, Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI) is now down 8.8% in U.S. trading. It closed down 10.8% in Milan.
    | Wed, Jul. 6, 1:56 PM
  • Wed, Jul. 6, 10:09 AM
    • Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI) is hitting a two-and-a-half-year low, down 9.4%, following a downgrade from JPMorgan amid hot new competition in Italy's mobile sector.
    • The analysts lowered their rating on the Italian incumbent to Neutral, from Overweight, as Iliad (OTCPK:ILIAY) has confirmed reports that it's got a deal to buy assets from Hutchison (OTCPK:HUWHY) and VimpelCom (VIP +0.3%) and enter the mobile market as a fourth player.
    • That deal will enable a long-challenged merger of Hutchison and VimpelCom's Italian units. Two blocks of 35 MHz of spectrum will be transferred for a total of €450M, and Iliad also has a deal to acquire several thousand macro sites in dense areas.
    • Iliad's top shareholder, Xavier Niel, says he doesn't have a material stake in Telecom Italia; his position amounts to less than €25M, he says, and he'll dispose of it within the next few weeks.
    | Wed, Jul. 6, 10:09 AM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Jul. 5, 4:22 AM
    • Iliad (OTCPK:ILIAY) is reportedly in exclusive talks with Hutchison (OTCPK:CKHUY) and Vimpelcom (NASDAQ:VIP) to buy wireless assets in Italy, marking founder Xavier Niel's third attempt to expand his business outside of France.
    • A deal would create a fourth mobile operator in the country and pave the way for CK Hutchison and Vimpelcom to merge their 3 Italia and Wind units.
    • An EU antitrust decision could come by the end of the week.
    | Tue, Jul. 5, 4:22 AM
  • Fri, Jul. 1, 5:39 PM
    • VimpelCom (VIP -1.8%), its unit Global Telecom Holding, and Dhabi Group shareholders say they have wrapped the transaction to merge VimpelCom's Mobilink (Pakistan Mobile Communications Limited) and Warid Telecom into Pakistan's leading provider.
    • The players had announced a deal to combine the businesses last November; it's received regulatory approval from relevant parties, and Mobilink has acquired 100% of Warid's shares, while Dhabi Group shareholders have acquired 15% of Mobilink's shares.
    • Aamir Ibrahim will take over as CEO of the new combination from Jeffrey Hedberg.
    • The transaction is expected to create capex and opex synergies with net present value of about $500M, with an annual run rate north of $100M in free cash flow improvements by year three, VimpelCom says.
    | Fri, Jul. 1, 5:39 PM
  • Tue, May 24, 10:41 AM
    • Djezzy -- the Algerian unit of VimpelCom (VIP +2.8%) and Global Telecom Holding -- has gotten a license to provide 4G LTE service there.
    • It says it looks forward to a rollout of the upgraded service this summer. Algeria is a "key market" for VimpelCom and GTH; Djezzy is the country's largest network (boasting 17M customers) and is modernizing its 2G offering while finishing full deployment of 3G in all 48 provinces by the end of the year.
    • The move comes in partnership with Algeria's national investment fund.
    | Tue, May 24, 10:41 AM
  • Thu, May 12, 3:07 PM
    | Thu, May 12, 3:07 PM
  • Thu, Apr. 21, 3:49 PM
    • VimpelCom (VIP -1.7%) and Hutchison (OTCPK:HUWHY) have an extension to finish a slowgoing merger of their Italian operations, to Aug. 18.
    • The companies asked for more time to combine Wind Telecomunicazioni (VimpelCom's unit) and Three Italia (Hutchison's).
    • The combo, which would merge the No. 3 and No. 4 mobile operators in Italy, s getting a hard look from European competition regulators.
    • Meanwhile, VimpelCom priced $1.2B in bonds in two tranches -- $500M in 6.25% senior notes due 2020, and $700M in 7.25% senior notes due 2023.
    • That offering should settle on Tuesday; proceeds will be used for general purposes.
    • Now read Russian Telecoms: Perspectives And Ideas For 2016 »
    | Thu, Apr. 21, 3:49 PM
  • Thu, Apr. 7, 2:54 PM
    • The long-in-the-making merger of Italy's No. 3 and No. 4 mobile operators is getting a hard look for antitrust concerns at the European Commission, CTFN says.
    • Wind Telecomunicazioni -- the Italian unit of Vimpelcom (VIP -3%) -- and Hutchison's (OTCPK:HUWHY) Three Italia submitted remedies to the EC, but beyond that a source says the commission will make sure there's a third party who's interested in acquiring divested frequencies.
    • Failing that, the combo could be blocked. The EC had opened a full probe into the tie-up last week after rebuffing an effort from Italy's government to take over the review.
    • The EC is concerned about "higher prices, less choice and reduced innovation for mobile customers in Italy."
    • Now read Russian Telecoms: Perspectives And Ideas For 2016 »
    | Thu, Apr. 7, 2:54 PM
  • Wed, Mar. 30, 4:46 PM
    • The European Commission has opened an in-depth probe into the deal to merge Italian operations between Hutchision (OTCPK:HUWHY) and VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP), with a focus on the effect it will have on consumer prices.
    • The long-discussed combination of Hutchison's Three Italia with VimpelCom's Wind Telecomunicazioni "could lead to higher prices, less choice and reduced innovation for mobile customers in Italy," the EC says.
    • The two companies will cooperate with the investigation into a deal that would reduce Italy's market to three players and create its biggest mobile carrier by subscriber numbers.
    • The news follows a stronger line by the EC on Hutchison's plan for its takeover of O2 in the UK as well. The EC will take 90 days to examine the Three-Wind deal, with an Aug. 10 deadline to decide on the deal.
    • Previously: EC reportedly reviewing remedies to enable Italy telecom merger (Mar. 22 2016)
    • Previously: Italian regulators ask EC to transfer review of €21.8B telecom merger (Feb. 26 2016)
    | Wed, Mar. 30, 4:46 PM
  • Tue, Mar. 22, 12:03 PM
    • The European Commission is reviewing remedies proposed by VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) and Hutchison Whampoa (OTCPK:HUWHY) to enable their long-awaited merger of Italy operations, CTFN reports.
    • The companies' Italian units -- VimpelCom's Wind Telecomunicazioni and Hutchison's Three Italia -- agreed to a 50-50 combination in a €21.8B deal last August after lengthy talks. The combination would surpass Telecom Italia's TIM and Vodafone in total customers.
    • The EC was set to issue a preliminary decision earlier this month but extended its deadline to March 30 as it discusses commitments from the carriers, including frequency divestment, to make the deal happen.
    • No price controls are likely to come in at an end-user level, a source tells CTFN, but some restrictions may come at the wholesale level -- welcome news for the country's MVNOs, which buy and re-sell service.
    | Tue, Mar. 22, 12:03 PM
  • Fri, Feb. 26, 11:28 AM
    • Italy's antitrust authority is asking the EC to let it handle a review of Hutchison's (OTCPK:HUWHY) €21.8B deal to merge its Three Italia telecom unit with Wind Telecomunicazioni, the local subsidiary of Vimpelcom (VIP +0.8%).
    • The regulator has asked for the case to be transferred though the EC is in a current review.
    • The EC had rebuffed a similar request from Germany's competition authority regarding a consolidation plan between Telefonica and KPN, saying it was in a better position and needed to ensure consistency in telecom mergers.
    • As it considers Italy's request, the EC has extended its preliminary investigation into the Three/Wind deal to March 30, from March 11.
    • Previously: Italy declining to veto merger of VimpelCom, Hutchison units (Sep. 23 2015)
    | Fri, Feb. 26, 11:28 AM
  • Thu, Feb. 18, 4:33 PM
    • Confirming earlier reports, VimpelCom (VIP -1.6%) says it's reached approved settlments with the SEC, the Justice Dept. and the Dutch Public Prosecution Service related to probes of its business dealings in Uzbekistan and with Takilant Ltd.
    • VimpelCom will pay $795M in aggregate as part of the settlements, and its Uzbekistan subsidiary Unitel has entered a guilty plea with the Justice Dept. It had made a set-aside of about $900M to cover anticipated payments.
    • The carrier has agreed to oversight from an independent monitor who'll watch for compliance enhancements at the company.
    • Shares had gained 12.5% yesterday on word that settlements were coming; they're down 0.4% after hours today.
    • Previously: Telenor taking VimpelCom news 'very seriously'; VIP +12.5% (Feb. 17 2016)
    • Previously: VimpelCom up 6.2% on word it's settling Uzbek probes (Feb. 17 2016)
    | Thu, Feb. 18, 4:33 PM
  • Wed, Feb. 17, 7:52 PM
    | Wed, Feb. 17, 7:52 PM
Company Description
VimpelCom Ltd. is an integrated telecommunications service operator. The company provides voice and data services through a range of traditional and broadband mobile and fixed technologies in Russia, Italy, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Algeria,... More
Sector: Technology
Industry: Wireless Communications
Country: Russia