March 27, 2019 / 6:43 AM / 3 months ago

Telenor bags $213 mln as Veon exit continues

OSLO, March 27 (Reuters) - Telenor has sold 100 million shares in Veon for net proceeds of $213 million as it continues a gradual exit from its Netherlands-based telecoms peer, the Norwegian company said on Wednesday.

After losing a battle for control over Veon, formerly known as Vimpelcom, in a power struggle with Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, Telenor decided in 2015 to divest its 33 percent ownership.

Following Wednesday’s sale, which corresponded to a stake of 5.7 percent, Telenor now owns 9 percent of Veon, it said in a statement.

“The offering results in net proceeds to Telenor of around $213 million,” the Oslo-based company added.

Telenor’s sale, in the form of American Depository Shares (ADS), was made at $2.16 each, a discount of 8.1 percent to Tuesday’s close of Veon’s ADS at $2.35 on Wall Street.

J.P. Morgan and Citigroup were joint global coordinators and bookrunners for the sale. Telenor has agreed to a 60-day lock-up agreement during which it can’t sell further Veon stock, it added.

Veon’s largest owner is LetterOne, an investment company chaired by Fridman, which holds a 47.9 percent stake. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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