Veon withdrew an offer to acquire the 42 per cent of operator group Global Telecom Holding it does not own, citing delays in getting the deal through Egyptian authorities.
Amsterdam-based Veon submitted the mandatory tender offer to buy the rest of its subsidiary in November 2017, offering shareholders a total of EGP4.1 billion ($232 million).
However, Veon said given the “lapse of time and absence of approval” from the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority it was withdrawing its offer and did not intend to make another “at this time”.
Global Telecom Holding has 240 million customers across three markets and offers mobile, fixed and broadband connectivity. Its brands are Djezzy in Algeria, Jazz in Pakistan and Banglalink in Bangladesh.
GSMA Intelligence estimates on the number of connections in Q1 2018 put Djezzy as the second largest mobile provider in Algeria with 14.9 million, Jazz as the market leader in Pakistan with 53.5 million, and Banglalink as third in its market with 31.5 million.
The move to walk away from the deal comes a week after the departure of Veon CEO Jean-Yves Charlier after a three-year stint, during which it rebranded from Vimplecom.
Announcing Charlier’s departure, executive chairman Ursula Burns said the company’s immediate priorities were digitising its back-end systems, tailoring its messaging app to specific markets and adding online services.