Veon opened a process for the sale of its Russian business, the operator’s largest unit, joining numerous international companies which have moved to reduce their exposure in the country following an invasion of Ukraine.
Netherlands-based Veon stated it was currently exploring options in “an effort to ensure that an optimal outcome is achieved” for stakeholders, shareholders, customers and employees working inside and outside of Russia.
However, it added there could be no assurance the sales process would result “in an acceptable offer”, while cautioning on regulatory approvals even if it did receive one.
“As of today, Veon has not committed to anything with regards to its Russian operations, nor can it be certain that any of the options that may be considered will be completed.”
The potential sale of its operation in Russia, which operates under the Beeline brand, would be hugely significant for Veon considering it makes up more than half of its revenue and earnings.
But, with a heavy presence in Russia, Veon’s shares have traded at record lows since the country’s war with Ukraine began in February.
To complicate matters further, Veon also operates a sizeable business in Ukraine through Kyivstar, which has been crucial for connectivity during the conflict.
In its most recent trading update, Veon CEO Kaan Terzioglu warned of the impact on the operator of sanctions against Russia, but stated he hoped the company would be allowed to continue to operate in the country on humanitarian grounds.
The operator divested its Russian towers business in December 2021, and also recently agreed to sell its Georgia operation, as part of efforts to streamline its business. Including Russia, Veon now only actively operates in seven markets.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back