Business news from Ukraine


CEO of lifecell mobile operator Ismet Yazici would like to see Azerbaijan Bakcell, which at the end of December 2019 bought Vodafone Ukraine, the second largest Ukrainian mobile operator, as an ally in the deregulation of the Ukrainian telecom market.
“I would like the new owner of the second largest mobile operator to actively engage in activities to improve working conditions in the Ukrainian telecom market. I would like Bakcell be an associate in how to deregulate the Ukrainian telecom market, make it more transparent, more competitive and more effective. Unfortunately, we are not observing this yet,” he told Interfax-Ukraine.
According to the CEO of lifecell, the change of ownership of Vodafone Ukraine did not influence the behavior and work of the operator in the Ukrainian market.
“After Bakcell entered the Ukrainian market, we did not see any changes. Vodafone Ukraine continues to adhere to previously defined strategy and continues to do what it did on the market before,” Yazici said.
The lifecell operator is the third largest mobile communications operator in Ukraine.



PJSC MTS signed a legally binding agreement with Telco Solutions and Investments LLC, being under control of Azerbaijan’s Bakcell telecom company, which in turn is incorporated in NEQSOL Holding, on the sale of MTS business in Ukraine.
The shareholders of the Russian company will have special dividends following the transaction.
“With the acquisition of Vodafone Ukraine, the second telecommunications operator in the Ukrainian market, we continue the strategy of expanding the international presence and entering the new markets by the companies belonging to the NEQSOL Holding group. The telecommunications industry is among the priority areas of our group’s work, therefore we constantly invest in innovative and reliable telecommunication solutions,” NEQSOL said in a report, citing CEO of NEQSOL Holding Yusif Jabbarov as saying.
He said that the state of the business, the growth pace and the effectiveness of Vodafone Ukraine are a reliable basis for further development, because NEQSOL holding is ready to invest in a new asset in order to continue introducing innovations and advanced technologies in Ukraine.
According to the statement of NEQSOL, under the agreement, MTS through its fully-owned subsidiary Allegretto Holding S.a.r.l. (Luxembourg) sells a 100% stake in Preludium B.V. (Netherlands), the sole shareholder of PrJSC VF Ukraine (the Vodafone Ukraine trademark), for $734 million, including deferred payment of about $84 million.
The purchase of a company in Ukraine is financed mainly from resources provided by international financial institutions.
“The change of ownership will not affect the operating activities of Vodafone Ukraine. The company will continue providing services under the Vodafone brand and meeting all obligations to employees, customers and partners,” the NEQSOL said.
The shares will be transferred soon.
“The company will continue providing services under the Vodafone brand. All tariff plans and services, as well as contracts and other obligations of the company are relevant and continue to be in effect,” Vodafone Ukraine’s press service told Interfax-Ukraine.
The mobile operator also confirmed the information that the change of ownership will not affect its operations, the provision of services to customers, interaction with partners, suppliers and contractors.



The group of the seller in a transaction to acquire Preludium B.V. (the Netherlands), through which MTS Group owns the second largest mobile communications operator in Ukraine, PrJSC VF Ukraine (Vodafone Ukraine), by Azerbaijan’s Bakcell telecom operator will terminate control over Preludium B.V.
According to the decision of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) of October 24, 2019, published on the agency’s website on Tuesday, the parties to the transaction have already agreed on the obligations of the Luxembourg subsidiary of MTS Allegretto Holding Sarl to refrain from competing with Vodafone Ukraine for three years territory of Ukraine.
In addition, PJSC Mobile TeleSystems undertakes not to lure employees (unless otherwise agreed between the parties) and Vodafone Ukraine suppliers.
According to the document, at present Bakcell LLC does not carry out economic activities in Ukraine. He is controlled by an individual a citizen of Azerbaijan and business entities non-residents of Ukraine, forming the Bakcell group.
Bakcell, founded in 1994, is the mobile communications operator and a leading provider of mobile Internet in Azerbaijan. It operates in GSM, UMTS and LTE standards.
Bakcell network consists of more than 7,500 towers, covers 93% of the territory (excluding occupied territories) and 99% of the population of Azerbaijan. The company has more than 3 million subscribers.
According to the results of 2018, Vodafone Ukraine reduced its net profit by 18.1% compared to 2017, to UAH 1.8 billion. The company explained this figure as an increase in costs due to the active deployment of 4G and 3G networks.
Vodafone Ukraine is fully owned by Preludium B.V. It is part of the international MTS Group, which shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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