Shares of communications and technology company Veon (NASDAQ: VEON) rose as much as 25.5% on Tuesday after the company announced the sale of its 50% stake in Italian mobile network Wind Tre for 2,450 euro, or approximately $2.9 billion. Veon's sale of its Wind Tre stake to CK Hutchison will enable Veon to fully exit the Italian mobile network.
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In its announcement on Tuesday, Veon said it is offering to acquire the assets of Global Telecom Holdings S.A.E's (HTG) assets in Pakistan and Bangladesh. The acquisition of the international telecommunications company's Pakistan and Bangladesh assets would require only a fraction of the proceeds that Veon receives from the sale of its Wind Tre stake. Veon notably already owns 57.7% of GTH.
At the time of this writing, Veon is up 17.2% on Monday. But shares haven't recovered from declines earlier this year.
Proceeds from the sale will ultimately help Veon simplify its business structure, reduce debt, and build shareholder value, the company said in a press release explaining the two transactions.
Along with the announcement of these strategic transactions, Ursula Burns, Veon's executive chairman, detailed "four immediate priorities" for the company: "simplifying the Group's structure, increasing our operational focus on emerging markets, strengthening the Group's balance sheet and supporting the company's current dividend policy."
Investors should keep in mind that both Veon's sale of Wind Tre and its offer to acquire GTH's Pakistan and Bangladesh assets are not done deals yet. Veon's sale of its Wind Tre stake "is subject to EU merger control clearance and necessary Italian regulatory approvals," Veon said. And Veon's offer to acquire GTH's Pakistan and Bangladesh assets must still be approved by GTH shareholders. Veon expects to close on its transaction with GTH during the fourth quarter of 2018, however.
Burns said the company will "provide a more comprehensive update on VEON's strategy in the coming weeks."
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