TeliaSonera increases its ownership in UCell
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
TeliaSonera increases its ownership in UCell, mobile operator in Uzbekistan, from 74% to 94% by acquiring 20% of the shares in the jointly owned TeliaSonera Uzbek Telecom Holding B.V. from Takilant Limited.
TeliaSonera will pay approximately SEK 1,550 million (US$220 million) for the shares. TeliaSonera Uzbek Telecom Holding B.V. is a Dutch holding company owning 100% of UCell in Uzbekistan.
“This transaction underlines TeliaSonera’s strategy to increase ownership in core holdings. With a young and large population, relatively low mobile penetration and expanding economy, Uzbekistan continues to provide a valuable opportunity for growth. We are committed to continue investing in the future development of the telecommunication infrastructure and services in the country,” says Tero Kivisaari, President of business area Eurasia, TeliaSonera.
UCell has grown considerably since TeliaSonera acquired the shareholder majority in mid 2007. In 2009, UCell became the second largest mobile operator in Uzbekistan, with 4,759,000 subscriptions and a market share of approximately 30% as of September 2009. UCell’s net sales for the period January-September 2009 were SEK 889 million. Mobile penetration in Uzbekistan is about 60%.