Veon Drops Armenia Business Sale Talks


Operator group Veon withdrew from discussions regarding a potential sale of its Armenian unit to rival Ucom, leaving its future in the market uncertain.

In a brief statement, Veon explained only it had backed away from talks commenced in January regarding its Beeline operation in the country.

There was little information given at the time or now regarding Veon’s motivation, though the discussions indicated an exit from the country could be on the cards.

And while Veon did not say why it abandoned the talks, reports of turmoil at Ucom have recently surfaced: in April, Arka News Agency noted staff dissatisfaction at proposed management changes in the event a merger went ahead.

Ucom co-founder and director general Hayk Yesayan has also recently departed, being replaced by Ara Sergey Khachatryan.

When details of the talks first emerged, Ucom stated a merger would enable it to improve services and

upgrade its infrastructure.

GSMA Intelligence figures placed Beeline as Armenia’s second-largest operator by connections at end-December 2019, with 947,790, followed by Ucom on 621,049. This compares with the 2.1 million connections of market leader Viva-MTS.   –Mobile World Live

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