The EBRD has signed a US$ 30 million (€32.1 million) equity investment in VimpelCom, a leading provider of cellular telecommunications services in Russia.
VimpelCom’s objectives for this project are:
- further development of the D-AMPS and GSM 900/1800 networks, through increased network coverage and capacity;
- implementation of new billing and IT systems;
- development of the distribution system;
- development of its regional licenses; and
- the launching of its Internet services in Moscow, the surrounding Moscow region and some of the other regions within Russia.
The investment will strengthen competition in the Russian mobile telecommunications market, leading to reduced costs for subscribers and the extension of services to the lower end of the market. The project will also play an important role in supporting economic growth and improving business links in the Moscow region with the rest of the country and the world. In addition, enhanced private sector involvement in the operation of infrastructure serves as an important model, particularly in a sector that is still dominated by significant public ownership.
VimpelCom is a leading provider of cellular telecommunications in Russia. It operates GSM 900/1800 and D-AMPS cellular networks in the Moscow License Area, which includes the city of Moscow and the surrounding Moscow region. In addition to mobile services, VimpelCom also is licensed to provide a range of other services including data transmission, Internet and IP-telephony. VimpelCom also holds various cellular licenses to operate dual band GSM 900/1800 networks covering a total population of approximately 100 million (68 per cent of Russia's population).
A US$ 30 million (€32.1 million) equity investment was made as part of VimpelCom’s equity and convertible bond offerings on the New York Stock Exchange and alongside a US$ 51.9 million (€55.5 million) equity investment by Norway’s Telenor Mobile Communications.
US$ 225.4 million (€241.2 million)
The project was classified as B/O. The EBRD environmental, health and safety due diligence questionnaire for telecommunication projects confirmed that there is unlikely to be any significant environmental, health and safety issues associated with this project. VimpelCom has applied for all necessary permits required to begin the construction and operation of the project. All other necessary permits will be obtained as the project progresses. VimpelCom has confirmed that construction plans including siting, disposal of potentially hazardous materials, and work health and safety issues will comply with all relevant national and local legal requirements. The company has also committed itself to adhering to the relevant EU environment standards.
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