Amsterdam-based telco VEON Ltd announced earlier this week its acquisition of a 15 percent minority stake in Pakistan Communications Limited (PMCL), which is the operating company of the country’s leading operator Jazz, from Dhabi Group for a sum of $273 million.
The deal follows the Dhabi Group’s exercise of its put option announced on 28 September 2020 and gives VEON 100 percent ownership of PMCL. This simplifies and streamlines the Group’s governance over its Pakistani assets and enables VEON to capture the full value of this growing business, including future dividends paid by PMCL, a statement by the Dutch provider said.
“We are excited to conclude this transaction and take full ownership of our business in Pakistan. Jazz has an abundance of growth opportunities as its customers embrace our market-leading 4G and digital services. We look forward to supporting the team at Jazz as they continue to develop these opportunities further. I would also like to thank the Dhabi Group, which has been a strong partner to VEON in Pakistan,” Sergi Herrero, VEON’s co-CEO, said.
It is worth mentioning that Dhabi Group is a UAE-based investment firm with business ventures in financial services, the hospitality sector, energy, IT and telecom, as well as real estate and agriculture.
Veons is considered one of the biggest names in the worldwide telecoms industry, ranking as the 9th largest mobile network operator in the world with an estimated 214 million customers across Asia, Africa, and the EU; in parallel, Jazz is considered the largest provider in Pakistan.
According to local media, the acquisition was expected to take place in Q4 of 2020, but was later delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.