VimpelCom eyes consolidation opportunities

Russian operator VimpelCom is said to be eyeing market consolidation in a number of markets following a review of its global operations, according to reports.

The news that Telecom Italia’s talks with Hutchinson Whampoa to merge mobile units fell through last month has intensified speculation that VimpelCom could ramp up its operations in Italy, which many analysts view as in need of fewer players.

The group is also said to be reviewing opportunities in Canada and Pakistan.

In its Q2 results, which were announced yesterday, growth in its domestic Russian market and the CIS region was said to be offset by declines in Italy as well as a slowdown in Africa and Asia.

Year-on-year revenues remained largely unchanged, standing at $5.72 billion, with EBITDA dropping by 2%.

The operator also this week announced that it will appoint Andrew Davies as its group CFO. Davies is presently CFO of Verizon Wireless, and will succeed Henk van Dalen by no later than January 2014.