VimpelCom plans to sell sub-Saharan African operations.

By bne IntelliNews October 30, 2012
Russian telecoms giant VimpelCom plans to sell its sub-Saharan African operations as part of its rationalisation strategy, aimed at focusing on increasing core earnings and reducing debt, Financial Times reported. The worlds sixth largest telecoms firm by customer numbers has already started talks to sell its units in Burundi and the Central African Republic and is working on resolving outstanding ownership and licensing issues related to its Zimbabwean subsidiary, Telecel Zimbabwe, in order to prepare it for sale, the daily wrote, quoting unnamed sources familiar with the situation. According to a source, the three businesses, which have 2.8 million mobile subscribers and generated USD 94mn in revenues last year, could be valued at more than USD 60mn. Interest in the African assets has mainly come from telecoms groups looking to buy a first foothold in the markets, Financial Times sources said. VimpelCom also plans to sell three Asian businesses in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Standard Chartered is advising VimpelCom on the sales.

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