The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) has added another telecoms operator to its portfolio by buying Telia Company’s 60% stake in Tajikistan operator Tcell. AKFED already owned the other 40% and is reportedly paying just $27.7 million for the rest.
AKFED owns Afghanistan’s Roshan mobile operator, which in turn also owns Smart Telecom, with businesses in east Africa.
Telia has been looking to sell off its interests outside its core European market. Earlier this year it sold its 60% stake in Nepal’s Ncell to Axiata. In January CEO Johan Dennelind announced that the whole Eurasian region would be regarded as “discontinued operations” in its accounts.
According to information posted on Telia Company’s website, it has sold its 60% holding in Central Asian Telecommunications Development B.V. (CATD), which controls CJSC “Indigo Tajikistan” (Tcell), to the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED).
“By divesting Tcell we have now taken a second step in our strategy to leave region Eurasia and we maintain the ambition to complete our exit in 2017,” says Johan Dennelind.
The transaction with AKFED, the 40% minority owner of CATD, has already been closed, Telia Company says.
The transaction price is reportedly based on an enterprise value of $46.2 million, of which Telia Company’s 60% share corresponds to $27.7 million. Telia Company says the agreed price implies an EV/EBITDA multiple of approximately 2.9x based on Tcell’s result for 2016. The capital loss before reclassification of accumulated negative foreign exchange differences to net income was SEK 0.0 billion. The transaction had no material cash flow effect.
As a result of the transaction with AKFED, all the tax liabilities now belong to Tcell and its new shareholder.
“We are very grateful for the hard and dedicated work that Tcell’s employees have contributed with and we wish them the best of luck with the new majority owner. AKFED is an established investor in the region and is in the best possible position to develop Tcell further,” says Johan Dennelind.
AKFED is a part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The Fund works in partnership with international organizations and governments to stimulate the private sectors of developing economies, with the aim of generating capital for investment in sustainable development initiatives. (News.tj/Business World Magazine)