Amsterdam (February 18, 2016) - VimpelCom Ltd. today announces settlements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), and the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (Openbaar Ministerie) (“OM”) relating to the previously disclosed investigations under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and relevant Dutch laws, pertaining to VimpelCom’s business in Uzbekistan and prior dealings with Takilant Ltd. The relevant settlement agreements have been approved by the authorities.
Jean-Yves Charlier, Chief Executive Officer of VimpelCom, said: “Resolving this has been a top priority for VimpelCom. While this has been a very challenging experience for our business and our employees, we are pleased to have now reached settlements with the authorities. The wrongdoing, which we deeply regret, is unacceptable. We have taken, and will continue to take, strong measures to embed a culture of integrity across the group. We have significantly strengthened our internal controls and compliance program. Since the launch of the investigation, VimpelCom has appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Group General Counsel, Chief Performance Officer and Group Chief Compliance Officer to drive the necessary change forward.”
As part of the settlements, VimpelCom will pay fines and disgorgements to the SEC, DOJ and OM in an aggregate amount of US$795 million. VimpelCom has agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ, a consent agreement with the SEC, and a settlement agreement with OM. In addition, VimpelCom’s subsidiary in Uzbekistan, Unitel LLC, has entered a guilty plea with the DOJ. VimpelCom has also agreed to oversight by an independent compliance monitor to promote continued, and regular, compliance enhancements across the Company and its subsidiaries. VimpelCom’s cooperation in the investigation and actions in rapidly resolving this matter, together with substantial upgrades to its compliance program, have been recognized by the authorities in the settlements.
VEON is a NASDAQ and Euronext Amsterdam-listed global provider of connectivity and internet services, with the ambition to lead the personal internet revolution for over 235 million customers it currently serves, and many others in the years to come.
VEON considers portions of this press release to contain "forward-looking statements", as the phrase is defined in Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "may", "will", "plan", "should", "expect", "anticipate", "estimate", "continue" or comparable terminology and include statements relating to, among other things, the development of VEON’s compliance function. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which VEON cannot predict with accuracy and some of which VEON might not even anticipate. Although VEON believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions at the time made, it can give no assurance that such expectations will be achieved. Future events and actual results, financial and otherwise, may differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements as a result of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained in this release speak only as of the date of this release. VEON does not undertake to publicly update, except as required by U.S. federal securities laws, any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after such dates or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. Furthermore, elements of this release contain, or may contain, "inside information" as defined under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014.
Investor RelationsBart Morselt
Media and Public RelationsMaria Piskunenko