Veon struck a deal to sell its indirect majority stake in Beeline Kyrgyzstan to CG Cell Technologies subject to regulatory approval, a move the operator group explained was part of a strategy to focus on large markets.

The operator’s 50.1 per cent stake in the Central Asian unit is currently held by VIP Kyrgyzstan Holding AG, with the buyer of the business owned by Dubai-headquartered international conglomerate CG Corp Global. The minority stakeholder in Beeline Kyrgyzstan is Verny Capital.

Explaining the rationale for the sale, Veon noted it wanted to focus on markets where it can scale its digital operator strategy including provision of services in finance, entertainment, healthcare and education.  

Veon did not disclose full financial details of the deal, but noted the agreement valued the unit at almost three and a half times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation last year.  

Group CEO of Veon Kaan Terzioglu said in recent years the division had become “a winning operation, with seven consecutive quarters of double-digit revenue growth, high penetration and quality of 4G services and solid foundations in digital offerings.”

CG Corp Global added it was “Excited to cooperate with our partners in this joint venture as we continue to develop the business, ensuring that customers continue to get the modern, high-quality and reliable connectivity and digital services they have come to expect.”

Veon’s focus will now be on markets in Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.