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VEON offers $2.6B for Global Telecom's assets in Pakistan, Bangladesh

VEON has submitted an offer to buy Global Telecom Holding SAE's assets in Pakistan and Bangladesh, according to a July 3 news release.

The Netherlands-based communications and technology company is offering a gross consideration of $2.55 billion to acquire Pakistan's Jazz and Bangladesh's Banglalink Digital Communications Ltd.. The consideration for the transaction is expected to be satisfied in part by VEON discharging and taking on debt held by the GTH group worth around $1.6 billion. The remainder of the consideration, approximately $950 million, will be paid in cash and a deferred consideration.

The company plans to finance the acquisition from proceeds of selling its 50% stake in Italian telco Wind Tre SpA to CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.. The deal, worth €2.45 billion, is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the third or fourth quarter of 2018.

The sale of the Wind Tre stake and offer to acquire GTH assets are part of VEON's broader plan to streamline its portfolio. VEON's Executive Chairman Ursula Burns said the company has identified four immediate priorities: simplifying the group's structure, increasing operational focus on emerging markets, strengthening the group's balance sheet and supporting the company's current dividend policy.

The M&A transactions are "important steps towards this goal," Burns added.

The transaction involving the offer to acquire GTH's assets is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018.