Tele2 finalised plans to sell its Kazakhstan joint venture stake to partner Kazakhtelecom for a net total of $169 million, with the Swedish group also receiving a $210 million loan repayment from the operation.

The sale total comprises the proceeds Tele2 will receive from the sale after the deduction of an existing liability on its share. The transaction has already been cleared by the Kazakhstan Anti-monopoly Agency and is expected to complete at the end of June.

Tele2 triggered its option to exit the JV in December 2018 after Kazakhtelecom struck a deal with Telia to acquire the latter’s stake in operator Kcell.

The JV was formed in 2016 and operates under both the Tele2 and Antel brands. At end-2018, GSMA Intelligence figures show it was the third-largest operator in the country at end-2018, with 6.1 million connections. Kcell was the second-largest with 8 million, with Veon’s Beeline on 9.7 million.

In a statement, Tele2 said the proceeds from the sale, along with the cash raised from the divestment of its Dutch operation, would be returned to shareholders.

The operator group is currently midway through a business refocusing and cost-cutting drive in a bid to make it a “truly integrated fixed-mobile challenger” in its key markets.