Koc enters Truphone as Abramovich pulls out - Mobile World Live

Koc enters Truphone as Abramovich pulls out

25 JAN 2023

European investors pledged to revive troubled eSIM specialist Truphone with fresh funding after completing an acquisition sparked by US concerns over the UK-headquartered company’s ties to Russian investors.

German tech entrepreneur Hakan Koc, and former telecoms executive and private equity investor Pyrros Koussios purchased Truphone’s assets through TP Global, a company apparently created to handle the deal.

In a statement, the buyers explained they plan to immediately fill Truphone’s coffers to boost its current operation and help lay plans for the future.

“Truphone’s R&D hub in Lisbon is impressive. We now look forward to executing on our accelerated growth plans and deliver new and innovative products for our customers,” Koc stated.

Financial Times reported TP Global paid £1 for the company.

Truphone began to hit problems in early 2022 when the UK government imposed sanctions on Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who held a minority stake in the company through investment vehicle Minden Worldwide.

At the time, the company also counted Russian investors Alexander Abramov and Alexander Frolov among its stakeholders.

In October 2022 the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined Truphone and imposed strict compliance conditions over an alleged failure to accurately disclose the Russian backers’ stakes, and transferring licences without the regulator’s approval.

The UK government approved the sale to TP Global last month.

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Mike Robuck

Mike Robuck is the U.S. Editor at Mobile World Live. He joined the Mobile World Live staff in February of 2022. Prior to joining GSMA, he was editor of FierceTelecom and of Light Reading’s Telco Transformation microsite. He has a...

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