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VimpelCom (VIP)

- NASDAQ
  • Fri, Mar. 27, 11:41 AM
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  • Fri, Mar. 13, 5:29 PM
    • Hutchison Whampoa's (OTCPK:HUWHY) been doing its level best to consolidate European telecoms -- by itself if need be -- but very lengthy talks over acquiring VimpelCom's (NASDAQ:VIP) Italian unit Wind Telecomunicazioni are key to cementing its foothold in the continent.
    • Hutchison's 3 Italia is the smallest player of Italy's four, with Wind being the third-largest. If the two (finally) merge, they'd have about a third of the market, roughly equal to that of leader Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI) and Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD).
    • Hong Kong-based Hutchison is pushing a $15B takeover of British firm O2 from Telefonica, and has already acquired Orange Austria and O2 Ireland.
    • Talks between Hutchison and Wind have been going on for over a year, but in the meantime, Wind's lost customers and gained debt (its net debt is now nearly 5x 2014 EBITDA).
    • Previously: FT: VimpelCom, Hutchison again close to closure on Italy merger (Mar. 10 2015)
    • Previously: VimpelCom, Hutchison reportedly closer to merging Italy operations (Feb. 17 2015)
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  • Tue, Mar. 10, 9:10 PM
    • It's a headline you've heard a few times before, but VimpelCom (VIP +1.7%) and Hutchison Whampoa (OTCPK:HUWHY -1.2%) are in the advanced stages of merging their Italian units, the Financial Times reports.
    • For more than a year, the two firms have been discussing how to merge VimpelCom's Wind Telecomunicazioni and Hutchison's Three Italia, the third- and fourth-largest of four competitors in Italy. But a breakthrough may mean Hutchison might get a 51% share of the combination and finally bring it to closure.
    • Sound familiar? In a four-competitor market, the smallest two have launched a damaging price war that's pressured everyone in the market. If the two merge, they'd have about a third of the space, roughly equal to that of Telecom Italia (TI -3.4%) and of Vodafone (VOD -1.7%).
    • Previously: VimpelCom, Hutchison reportedly closer to merging Italy operations (Feb. 17 2015)
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  • Sep. 16, 2014, 6:59 AM
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  • Sep. 15, 2014, 5:43 PM
    • VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) is close to selling its stake in Canadian wireless carrier Wind Mobile Canada to Toronto-based Globalive Wireless Management for ~C$300M ($270M), with an announcement expected as soon as tomorrow, according to various reports.
    • A deal would cap VIP's struggle to exit the Canadian market following a lengthy regulatory spat over Canada's foreign investment rules.
    • A sale also would boost the Canadian government’s effort to create a fourth national wireless carrier to help foster competition and reduce mobile phone rates; the three biggest carriers, Rogers Communications (NYSE:RCI), BCE and Telus (NYSE:TU), together control 90% of the market.
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  • Apr. 18, 2014, 6:36 AM
    • Vimpelcom (VIP) unit Global Telecom Holding (GTH) has agreed to sell its 51% stake in Orascom Telecom Algeria (Djezzy) to the Algerian National Investment Fund for $2.6B.
    • Djezzy will also pay a dividend of $1.86B to to GTH prior to the closing of the transaction.
    • However, Vimpelcom and GTH will take a one-off charge of $2B related to the settlement of a dispute with Algeria.
    • GTH will maintain operational control over Orascom Telecom Algeria. (PR)
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  • Dec. 23, 2013, 4:07 AM
    • VimpelCom (VIP) is considering selling Italian mobile unit Wind, merging it with a rival, or refinancing its $14B of debts, the FT reports.
    • The Russian telecom carrier has held talks with Hong Kong based Hutchison Whampoa, the parent company of Wind competitor Three. However, the discussions didn't turn into negotiations over a merger or sale.
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  • Aug. 15, 2013, 9:18 AM
    • Sources tell The Globe and Mail, which appears to have a good handle on Verizon's (VZ) Canadian expansion plans, Verizon has decided to delay making bids for smaller local carriers Wind (65%-owned by VIP) and Moblicity until a January spectrum auction is finished.
    • The paper adds Verizon "will focus on deciding whether to participate" in the auction. The change of heart that suggests the carrier could be having second thoughts about expanding north, or might simply be trying to drive a harder bargain (either with the carriers or regulators).
    • A previous report claimed Verizon had made a ~$700M offer for Wind, and had held talks with Moblicity.
    • BMO has argued a Canadian acquisition would pay for itself just via roaming fee savings. Incumbent Canadian carriers (BCE, RCI, TU) have been less than thrilled about Verizon's plans, and apparent government support for them.
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  • Jul. 5, 2013, 3:14 AM
    As expected, Telecom Italia (TI) has ended talks with Hutchison Whampoa (HUWHF.PK) about merging their Italian mobile phone units, as the "elements necessary to start (formal) negotiations" weren't in place. TI will now focus on its plan to spin off its fixed-line operations, while Hutchison may look to merge its subsidiary, 3 Italia, with Vimpelcom (VIP) unit Wind.
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  • Jun. 26, 2013, 9:25 AM
    Verizon (VZ) has made an initial offer of ~$700M for Canadian mobile carrier Wind Mobile, The Globe and Mail reports. The paper adds Verizon has also recently talked with Moblicity, another second-tier Canadian carrier, and is thinking about taking part in upcoming spectrum auctions. Analysts think the total cost of entering the Canadian will amount to $1B-$2B. CFO Fran Shammo recently admitted Big Red is thinking of entering Canada, but added regulatory issues could get in the way. VimpelCom (VIP) owns 65% of Wind; founder Anthony Lacavera owns 35%, and recently said he wants to buy VimpelCom's stake. (previous)
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  • Jun. 19, 2013, 4:34 AM
    Verizon (VZ) is interested in acquiring Canadian peer Wind Mobile, the U.S company has said. Verizon has reportedly held talks for Wind, which is a relatively new entry into the Canadian market and is struggling. VimpelCom (VIP), Wind's largest owner, wants around $500M, although Verizon may then have to pump in another $1-2B for spectrum purchases, network upgrades and consolidation costs. RBC analyst Drew McReynolds is not sure the deal makes sense.
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  • Jun. 17, 2013, 9:33 AM
    Verizon (VZ) wants to enter the Canadian mobile market, and has "held exploratory talks" with minor local carrier Wind, The Globe and Mail reports. The Canadian government, fresh off relaxing foreign investment limits, is said to view Verizon "as the most likely foreign option" for bolstering competition in a market dominated by Telus (TU), Rogers (RCI), and Bell (BCE); ideally, Verizon would buy a small local carrier, then take part in upcoming spectrum auctions. Russia's VimpelCom (VIP), the biggest investor in Wind, wants to sell its stake for $500M+. Telus' efforts to buy another small rival, Moblicity, were recently blocked by Ottawa.
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  • Apr. 19, 2013, 1:55 PM
    VimpelCom (VIP +1.1%) has sold its indirect stake in Cambodian mobile carrier Sotelco to its local partner. The sale comes as VimpelCom and rival MTS continue to bid for Tele2's Russian unit, which for now is still set to be sold to state bank VTB (PR)
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  • Apr. 2, 2013, 2:19 PM
    Russian carriers Vimpelcom (VIP +3.3%) and MTS (MBT +0.6%) remain committed to bidding for buying rival Tele2 Russia, even though Tele2 Russia's parent company has effectively dismissed their $4B-$4.25B offer. Sweden-based Tele2 says it was aware of all options before agreeing to sell ts Russian ops to state bank VTB for $3.5B in a deal that gives it rights (for 12 months) to half of any profits VTB gets from a resale.
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  • Mar. 28, 2013, 1:56 PM
    Russian mobile carriers VimpelCom (VIP +0.2%) and Mobile TeleSystems (MBT +0.3%) are prepared to offer $4B-$4.25B for rival Tele2 Russia, Bloomberg reports. Though Sweden-based Tele2 has already agreed to sell its Russian ops to local bank VTB for $2.4B + assumed debt, there have been reports of third-party interest. Billionaire Mikhail Fridman's Alfa Group might also join the fray.
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  • Nov. 26, 2012, 7:41 AM
    Russian antitrust regulators have ended their efforts to stop Norwegian carrier Telenor from raising its stake in VimpelCom (VIP) above a current 43%. The fact Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's Altimo (Alfa Telecom) now has 47.85% a voting stake in VimpelCom is undoubtedly a big reason why. The decision paves the way for VimpelCom to hold its annual shareholder meeting on Dec. 21. (previous)
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Company Description
VimpelCom Ltd provides voice, data and other telecommunication services through an array of wireless, fixed and broadband internet services, as well as selling equipment and accessories.
Sector: Technology
Country: Russia