Telenor to hold off VimpelCom sale

Telenor’s chief executive, Jon Frederik Baksaas, has told reporters that although it is looking at options for its stake in VimpelCom, now is not the right time to sell.

Baksaas told Reuters that due to existing market conditions, there is no immediate chance for it to sell its 33% stake in VimpelCom.

“This is something we are looking at continuously but right now, I think we just have to face the fact that we are where we are,” Baksaas said.

“There has been an operational improvement compared to competitors in the Russian market, but the effects of the Ukraine crisis in combination with the falling oil price has had a major effect on the rouble.”

Telenor considered a sale, at the right price, for VimpelCom back in November 2012, but this failed to materialise.

VimpelCom has been struggling with approximately $20 billion worth of debt, and in October this year the company sold off two telecoms businesses in Central African Republic and Burundi for an estimated $65 million.

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