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M&A: Telenor seeks parity with Altimo in holding VimpelCom shares

Telenor proposes that Altimo restore parity with Telenor in owning VimpelCom shares through the joint acquisition of 6% of the company's preferred shares from Bertofan Investments Limited (owned by the Ukrainian businessman Victor Pinchuk), Telenor informed.

Earlier, Altimo and Telenor voiced their consent to own VimpelCom on a parity basis. However, the Norwegian company considered that Bertofan Investments Ltd. belonging to the Ukrainian businessman Victor Pinchuk nominally holds 6% of VimpelCom voting shares. This stake is to be factored in when estimating Altimo's interest. The Russian company denied Telenor accusations of its affiliation with V. Pinchuk blankly.

As estimated by Altimo, after exercising the option for the acquisition of the remaining VimpelCom shares from Weather Investments II S.a.r.l., the Norwegian party consolidated 45% of the Russian operator's shares. Telenor directly owns 43%, Norwegian state-owned funds whose controlling shareholder is the same as that of Telenor (the state of Norway) own 2%.

It will be recalled that Telenor revealed the acquisition of 71 million preferred shares (3.5% of the voting power) of VimpelCom from Weather Investments for $113.6 million on October 1. As a result, the Norwegian holding's stake increased to 42.95%.

In mid-August, Altimo bought 305 million common shares (14.8% of the voting power) of VimpelCom from Weather Investments for $3.6 billion. This transaction, coupled with the purchase of shares in the open market, increased Altimo's voting interest in VimpelCom to 40.5% from 25%. Therefore, exercising the put and call option by Telenor upset the parity with Altimo.

VimpelCom Ltd. Group includes companies providing integrated telecommunication services including communication services and data transmission services using a wide range of wireless, fixed-line telephony and broadband Internet access technologies in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Cambodia, Laos, Algeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Burundi, Zimbabwe, the Central African Republic, Italy and Canada. VimpelCom is engaged in activities worldwide in territories with the total population of about 782 million. The company provides services under brands Beeline, Kievstar, djuice, Wind, Infostrada, Mobilink, Leo, Banglalink, Telecel and Djezzy. The company's subscriber base contains 208 million entries. VimpelCom's shares are listed on NYSE (VIP).

Telenor holds 42.95% of VimpelCom's voting shares, Altimo owns 40.5%, Weather Investments II holds 3.48%.

Pro-forma net profit (IFRS) of VimpelCom Ltd. for Q2 2012 increased by 83% to $488 million from $267 million for Q2 2011. Actual net profit increased 2.1-fold from $235 million. Pro-forma revenue decreased by 4% to $5.745 billion from $6.011 billion, actual revenue increased by 4% from $5.536 billion. Pro-forma EBITDA increased by 2% to $2.481 billion from $2.441 billion, actual EBITDA by 10% from $2.253 billion. Pro-forma EBITDA margin increased to 43.2% from 40.6%, actual EBITDA margin from 40.7%.

"AK&M", 04.10.2012


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