VEON exits Kyrgyzstan to focus on key markets


The Netherlands-based operator has sold its 50.1% stake in the business to CG Cell Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of CG Corp Global

This week, VEON has announced that it will exit Kyrgyzstan, selling its majority stake in Beeline Kyrgyzstan to Chaudhary Group (CG Corp Global)’s subsidiary CG Cell Technologies.

The deal will see VEON transfer its entire 50.1% stake to CG Corp Global, valuing the business at 3.4-times the company’s EBITDA in 2023.

According to VEON’s latest financial report, Beeline Kyrgyzstan’s EBITDA for 2023 was $22 million, hence the transaction for 50.1% has an estimated value of around $37.5 million.

Verny Capital holds the remaining 49.9% in the business.

“We are very pleased to become a major investor in the Kyrgyzstan telecommunications market with the purchase of the majority stake in Beeline Kyrgyzstan,” said CG Corp Global in a formal statement. “We are excited to cooperate with our partners in this joint venture as we continue to develop the business, ensuring that customers continue to get the modern, high-quality and reliable connectivity and digital services they have come to expect.”

The sale is subject to the usual regulatory approvals.

Beeline Kyrgyzstan has grown considerably over the past two years, with VEON CEO Kaan Terzioglu noting the unit’s “seven consecutive quarters of double-digit revenue growth, high penetration and quality of 4G services and solid foundations in digital offerings”.

Despite this, VEON’s Kyrgyzstan business remains the smallest of its international operations, generating just $56 million in revenue in 2023. By contrast, the company’s next smallest market, Uzbekistan, generated $269 million during the same period.

VEON, which also operates mobile networks in Ukraine, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, and Georgia, has been working through a turbulent period in the past couple of years.

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, the operator has fully withdrawn from Russia, selling the unit to senior members of its management team at the end of the same year. Now, the company is in the process of bolstering its embattled Kyivstar operations in Ukraine, pledging to invest $600 million to rebuild and expand the company’s networks over the next three years.

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