DUBAI/PARIS Nov 2 Telecoms group Vimpelcom
has hired Standard Chartered to advise it on
the sale of its businesses in Burundi, Zimbabwe, Central African
Republic, Cambodia and Laos, two people familiar with the matter
New-York listed Vimpelcom wants to focus on its largest
markets of Russia and Italy, while reducing its debt, the people
said. The units on the block came to Vimpelcom when it bought a
51 percent stake in Egypt-based Orascom Telecom and all of
Italy's Wind in 2011 for $6 billion.
"The move is part of a wider strategy by the company to
review some of their smaller businesses globally and especially
in emerging markets," said a source familiar with the
"The group has really grown in size post the Orascom deal
and there is a feeling that they need to be only in markets
which are strategically important and of relevant size."
Orascom said earlier this week it was considering the sale
of its interests in Burundi, Zimbabwe and the Central African
The Financial Times earlier reported that Orascom's parent
Vimpelcom was working on those divestments, along with those in
Cambodia and Laos, and pegged the value of the units at around
A person familiar with the matter said the African
businesses would be worth less than $100 million, but did not
give valuation estimates for the Asian operations.
"These are not huge businesses and the size of the
transactions there will not be huge," said the person.
Vimpelcom declined to comment on who the advisers were,
adding it was looking at all options during the process.
The company's largest shareholders are Mikhail Fridman's
Alfa Group and Norwegian telecoms group Telenor, which
have long been at loggerheads over its strategy.