Veon boosted its holdings in Pakistan after completing a deal to acquire an outstanding 15 per cent stake in Pakistan Mobile Communications, which operates the Jazz brand.

The deal, worth $273 million, gives Veon a 100 per cent stake in the company. In a statement, it said the acquisition “streamlines” governance over its Pakistani assets and will enable it to capture the full value of “this growing business”.

Veon struck the deal after the owner of the 15 per cent stake, the Abu Dhabi Group, exercised its option to sell its holding in September 2020.

Pakistan is a key market for Amsterdam-headquartered Veon, with the company pushing financial services through its JazzCash offering, as fintech is a major strategic pillar of its wider digital-based strategy.

Sergi Herrero, Veon co-CEO, said Jazz had an “abundance of growth opportunities as it customers embrace our marketing leading 4G and digital services”.

GSMA Intelligence estimates for Q1 2021 ranked Jazz as the clear market leader with 67.1 million mobile connections, with Telenor Pakistan the closest competitor with 47.8 million.