Centre Franco-Russe d’Intelligence Economique et Stratégique

15 mai 2007

VimpelCom Takes Out Credit for Belarus and 3G


Date: 15 mai 2007

VimpelCom plans to borrow $800 million this year to pay off other credits, implement a capital expenses program and perhaps acquire other cellular assets. Among its possible purchases, experts say, are the cellular holdings of Dalsvyaz and one of two Belarusian operators – Velcom or BeST. Part of the money will go to introduce the third-generation network (3G).
The company plans to borrow money on Russian or foreign financial markets and from banks. The exact amount of the loans will be determined by factors such as the company's proceeds, the ARPU indicator and the network's growth rate. The last large loan it took out was 6 billion rubles (about $228 million) from Sberbank for three years in August of last year. At the end of last year, the company's total debt was around $2.48 billion. Of that sum, $921 million was in bank credits and $1.4 billion in Eurobonds.

VimpelCom general director Alexander Izosimov stated earlier that capital expenses would be the same in 2007 as the year before (about $1.5 billion), of which about $1 billion would be spent in Russia. That sum does not include mergers and acquisitions or investment in 3G.

VimpelCom received a license for 3G last month and has stated intentions of spending $300-350 million on it this year and next. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said last month that the state packages in Belarusian cellular operators Velcom and BeSt would be sold. They represent logical acquisitions for VimpelCom and will cost about $1 billion and $500 million, respectively.

Posté par CFRIES à 11:33 - NTIC & Telecom - Permalien [#]