Tele2 AB telecom operator to leave Kazakh market

ASTANA – Swedish company Tele2 AB has announced its intention to sell its stake in Mobile Telecom Service (Tele2), the Tele2 Group-Kazakhtelecom joint venture, to Kazakhtelecom. The closing is expected in approximately six months.

Photo credits: Tele2 Kazakhstan Facebook Page.

The Dec. 12 agreement, whereby Kazakhtelecom will purchase 75 percent of Kcell from Telia Company and Fintur, gives Tele2 AB the opportunity to exercise its put option and sell its shares in the joint venture to Kazakhtelecom. Tele2 AB filed a put option notice with Kazakhtelecom Dec. 28 to initiate the process.

“The put option price is based on a fair market value principle and will be determined through an agreed valuation process, based on standard methodology, including independent third-party advisors,” according to a statement on Tele2 AB’s website.

The joint venture will continue its work and Tele2 AB will continue its management until the transaction is closed.

An 87-billion tenge (US$ 229.51 million) shareholder loan from Tele2 to the joint venture is to be fully repaid at the time of closing. The joint venture represented 9 percent of Tele2 Group revenue from January-June 2018.

In 2010, Kazakhtelecom sold 51 percent of its shares in Kazakh mobile operator Mobile Telecom Service to Tele2 Group. In March 2016, Tele2 Group and Kazakhtelecom completed a transaction to merge subsidiary mobile operators Altel (Altel 4G) and Tele2.

According to the terms of the agreement, Kazakhtelecom and Tele2 received 51 percent and 49 percent of the share capital and 49 percent and 51 percent of the voting shares of the joint company, respectively.

When Tele2 Group leaves the Kazakh market, Kazakhtelecom will control three (Altel, Kcell and Tele2) of the country’s four mobile operators.

Kazakhtelecom is the largest fixed-line operator in Kazakhstan. The company’s main shareholder is the Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund with 45.9 percent of the authorised capital (52.03 percent of ordinary shares).

Founded in 1993, Tele2 Group is an international telecommunications company serving 13 million subscribers in nine countries.