Vimpelcom’s Fridman to invest $16bn in telecoms

07 April 2015 |

Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman has set up a private-equity fund to invest in telecoms and technology businesses in Europe and the US.

London-based LetterOne Technology (L1Technology) – set up by Fridman and his Russian partners –will utilise its $16 billion in funds to acquire telecoms and technology companies.

Alexey Reznikovich, L1Technology’s CEO, told the Financial Times that he believed that the “old fashioned” telecoms industry required a root-and-branch overhaul to make money for investors. He added that the group had no debt on its balance sheet, which meant that funds could be increased to $25 billion if needed. 

The board comprises of co-founder Brent Hoberman, Irish telecoms entrepreneur Denis O’Brien, former Skype executive Russ Shaw, ex-Google payments executive Osama Bedier and Sir Julian Horn-Smith, one of Vodafone’s founding management team. 

The move comes weeks after the UK government opposed Fridman’s €5 billion acquisition of RWE’s oil unit DEA. The billionaire has threatened to sue the government if it forces his company to divest UK assets. 

L1Technology will act as a holding company for the 48% stake in VimpelCom, owned by Fridman and his Russian partners, and control their 13% share in Turkcell.