Telecoms firm Veon granted U.S. licence for sale of Russian business

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May 4 (Reuters) -Telecoms company Veon VON.AS has been issued with a U.S. licence authorising U.S. citizens to engage in transactions required for the divestment of its Russian business, Vimpelcom, the company said on Thursday.

In November, Veon announced plans to sell Vimpelcom to senior members of the Vimpelcom management team, led by CEO Aleksander Torbakhov, for 130 billion roubles ($1.83 billion).

Veon operates the Beeline brand through Vimpelcom in Russia, and its role in Russia had been complicated by the fact the company runs the Kyivstar mobile network brand in Ukraine.

Veon said the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) had issued a licence on April 15, paving the way for Veon to exit Russia, a step many Western companies have taken in opposition to Moscow's actions in Ukraine.

"In addition to this OFAC licence, Veon has also determined that it has the requisite authorisations required by the UK and Bermudan authorities to proceed with the divestment of VimpelCom," Veon said in a first quarter trading update.

"VEON does not believe that a license is required from the EU to execute the sale."

Reporting by Alexander Marrow
Editing by Mark Potter


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