The Netherlands based multinational announced yesterday that it has entered the final stages in closing the sale of its Russian division to senior members of the latter’s management team
The plan to exit Russia, first announced last November, now appears close to fruition with VEON announcing, hat it has submitted all necessary paperwork to Euroclear and Clearstream – two European securities transaction settlement firms – pertaining to the cancellation of Veon’s Eurobonds held by its Russian unit, PJSC VimpelCom.
The cancellation of the bonds put the company closer to its final exit from Russia, with the company’s Eurobond holders in Russia having been cut off since the EU initiated sanctions in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. VEON have also since revealed through filings with the SEC in May that VimpelCom had bought back $1.6 billion worth of Eurobonds, which were subsequently reclassified as inter-company debt.
Veon CEO Kaan Terzioğlu stated ‘The cancellation of VEON’s Eurobonds will pave the way for VEON to exit Russia in a way that we believe to be the optimal outcome for all our stakeholders – including our investors, creditors, customers and employees. This cancellation is a non-cash transaction necessary for our timely exit from Russia; and protects VEON and its investors from a risk of double payments in the future.’
Once the deal closes, VEON’s financial scale will be significantly reduced with the exit from its largest market, with Russia comfortably dwarfing in revenue terms its seven remaining markets (including Ukraine.) Nevertheless, VEON appears on track to complete the sale to its timeline of June 2023 and navigate its exit from Russia.