October 9, 2023, Moscow – Aspring Capital acted as VEON Ltd.’s financial advisor in the sale of PJSC VimpelCom (operating under the Beeline brand) for 130 billion rubles. The completed transaction stands out as the largest among other Western firms' exit deals and has become a notable example of a foreign business selling its operations in Russia for a sizeable sum.
In November 2022 Veon following a competitive process announced selling its Russian operations to certain senior members of the management team of PJSC VimpelCom led by its current CEO Aleksander Torbakhov.
The management buy-out of VimpelCom implies an expected enterprise value of approximately RUB 370 billion. Majority of the consideration for the sale was satisfied by writing off VEON's debt to the Russian company. For the remaining 130 billion rubles, VimpelCom redeemed over 96% of all VEON Ltd. Eurobonds in Russia. It's a first-of-its-kind transaction on the Russian investment banking market structured through Eurobond redemption.
All regulatory approvals have been received, including Russian Government Commission approval and consent from VEON's creditors. The transaction does not provide for any buy-back arrangements which signifies VEON’s complete exit from the Russian market. Vimpelcom has become a fully Russian company.
VEON Ltd. is a global provider of connectivity and internet services listed on NASDAQ and Euronext Amsterdam. PJSC VimpelCom (operating under the Beeline brand), Russian telecommunications company offers communication and internet services to over 240 million subscribers.