Veon drops Pakistan, Bangladesh bids

11 OCT 2018

Veon dropped an offer to acquire the assets of Global Telecom Holding (GTH) in Pakistan and Bangladesh, stating it will explore options to address its strategic relationship with GTH and its minority shareholders.

The company said the Pakistan and Bangladesh deals were nixed because of “recent events surrounding the Pakistani Rupee” and “the reaction of the offer by GTH minority shareholders, which suggests that approval would not have been forthcoming”.

Veon owns 57.7 per cent of GTH, with the rest held by minority shareholders. In late 2017 it launched an offer to buy-out these investors completely, but this subsequently fell through after it became clear the transaction would not be approved by the necessary two-thirds of minorities.

GTH itself has noted it has “significant debt maturities, interest payments and capital requirements” over the next 18 months or so. Noting the end of the latest deal, which would have been worth around $2.55 billion, it said it will “continue to explore alternate financing options and will communicate more details in due course”.

Veon has had something of a mixed period in terms of mergers and acquisitions. In September, it called off a deal to sell its Pakistan towers business to a specialist company, having failed to secure regulatory approval.

But it did manage to complete a deal offloading its 50 per cent stake in Italian operator Wind Tre, just as the market faces increased competition from new entrant Iliad Italia. Veon had intended to use some of the proceeds from this to fund the GTH transaction.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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