Thursday, April 14, 2011

Russia's Vimpelcom Moves into Group of Top Mobile Operators

Russia's Vimpel-Communications completed its previously announced deal with Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris to acquire Weather Investments S.p.A, which owns 51.7% of Orascom Telecom (Egypt) and 100% of Wind Telecomunicazioni (Italy). The US$1.495 billion cash deal, which was first announced in October 2010, was financed from Vimpelcom's existing cash balances and new debt facilities.


Vimpelcom said the acquisition will make it the world's sixth largest mobile telecommunications carrier by subscribers. Total mobile subscriber base reached 181 million as of December 31, 2010. The combined company had with pro forma net operating revenues of US$21.5 billion and pro forma EBITDA of US$9.5 billion for 2009. The combined company has operations in 20 countries with a combined population of 850 million.


The company provides services under the "Beeline", "Kyivstar", "djuice", "Wind", "Infostrada", "Mobilink", "Leo", "Banglalink", "Telecel", and "Djezzy" brands.


VimpleCom plans to sell off several newly-acquired business units from Weather, including Orascom Telecom's investments in Egypt and North Korea, as well as Wind Italy's Wind International Services S.p.A. subsidiary.


Jo Lunder, Chairman of VimpelCom, commented: "This landmark transaction is a significant step forward for VimpelCom. It establishes the growth platform that the Supervisory Board has strongly supported, allowing us to become a truly global player with a strong presence across Europe, Asia and Africa. At the same time, the enlarged VimpelCom remains committed to delivering enhanced shareholder value in 2011 and beyond, which is critical to the success of a leading global company."


Naguib Sawiris, Chairman of Wind Telecom, commented: "We share a common global vision with our new partners at VimpelCom. The prospects for our new, enlarged and diversified telecoms platform are exciting and a reflection of our high quality assets across each of the geographies where we operate. Moreover, I am confident that our minority shareholders in Orascom Telecom will benefit from the synergies created from the combination of the two entities and by the overall strengthening of the Orascom Telecom balance sheet."


Alexander Izosimov, Chief Executive Officer of VimpelCom, added: "The closing of this large and complex transaction opens the door for new and exciting growth opportunities, positioning the Company to capitalize on strong growth in emerging markets, industry consolidation, and the rapid development of mobile data. VimpelCom has already commenced integration initiatives and we are focused on realizing synergies, particularly in the area of procurement, and capitalizing on the Company's strengthened leadership, scale and market expertise. Furthermore, we look forward to delivering on our commitment to strengthening our financial position through rapid debt paydown and to driving sustained growth in our business."


The company now has operations in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Algeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Central African Republic, Italy and Canada. The Group's headquarters is in Amsterdam.
http://www.vimpelcom.com

  • In November 1996, OJSC VimpelCom was the first Russian company to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).


  • In February 2008, OJSC VimpelCom merged with Golden Telecom, a leading facilities-based provider of integrated telecommunications and Internet services in Russia and the CIS.


  • In October 2008, VimpelCom acquired a 49.9% stake in Euroset, the largest mobile retailer in Russia and the CIS.


  • In May 2009, VimpelCom launched commercial operations outside of the CIS in Cambodia and in July 2009 in Vietnam.


  • In April 2010, a new entity, VimpelCom Limited, completed a tender offer to exchange ownership of OJSC VimpelCom and Ukraine’s Kyivstar for shares in VimpelCom Limited, listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “VIP�? previously held by OJSC VimpelCom.

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