VEON withdraws bid to buy remaining shares in Global Telecom Holding

04 April 2018 | James Pearce

VEON has withdrawn its offer to buy the rest of Egypt-listed Global Telecom Holding and has ruled out plans to make any future offers.

 HoldingAmsterdam-based VEON, formerly VimpelCom, currently owns a 57% stake in GTH, which operates networks in Algeria, Pakistan, North Korea and Bangladesh.

VEON, which owns Beeline in Russia and half of Wind Tre in Italy, said it had notified the Egyptian Regulatory Authority (EFRA) that, “given the lapse of time and absence of approval” it would be withdrawing its mandatory tender offer for the remaining 42.3% of GTH.

Egyptian law requires that EFSA respond to offers submitted within two business days from the date in which the company completes all documents required for the offer, with the initial bid announced back in November.

The former VimpelCom bought its existing stake in GTH in 2011, despite the opposition of Telenor, then a major VimpelCom shareholder. The stake was owned by Naguib Sawiris, who has since become involved in a number of other telecoms projects, including an ill-fated attempt to buy Brazil’s Oi.

The decision to withdraw its mandatory tender offer comes just a week after VEON CEO Jean-Yves Charlier said he would leave his role at the firm. No immediate reason was given for his departure, with the company’s chair, Ursula Burns, taking control until a replacement is found.