VEON CEO letter to investors and partners
Amsterdam, 15 March 2022 –VEON Ltd. (NASDAQ: VEON, Euronext Amsterdam: VEON), a leading global provider of connectivity and internet services, has today, given the recent market volatility, provided our investors and partners with an update on our business setting out how we are successfully navigating through the current turbulence.
In the update, VEON’s Chief Executive Officer Kaan Terzioğlu comments on the following points:
Strong liquidity profile
Our business is strong, and we are well placed to weather the current storm.
The credit rating agencies define our liquidity margin as strong (Fitch) and sound (S&P). At the end of February 2022, VEON had USD 2.1 billion in cash and deposits, of which USD 1.5 billion at headquarters, held with international banks from the European Union, the United States and Japan. On top of that, VEON has a USD 1.25 billion committed revolving credit facility available to it (of which USD 820 million remains undrawn) from a group of diversified lenders headquartered in the United States, Europe and Asia.
On 1 March 2022, VEON repaid USD 417 million of maturing bonds, and on 9 March 2022 it pre-paid and closed a RUB 30 billion (approximately USD 259 million) interest-bearing loan with VTB Bank. Following this payment to VTB, VEON has no further loans outstanding with VTB. VEON has no additional debt maturities at its HQ level for the rest of 2022.
We will of course continue to maintain financial discipline, underpinned by our strong liquidity position and our resilient operating profile.
VEON is a global telecoms operator
We are proud to provide to our 218 million customers connectivity and digital services. These are essential for a combined population of 680 million in the nine countries where we operate.
We continue to execute on our Digital Operator strategy across our markets, pursuing all growth opportunities enabled by our Digital Products portfolio.
VEON shares are listed on NASDAQ in New York and EuroNext in Amsterdam. Our company is run by a diverse and international management team, with oversight from an independent Board of Directors. We have a globally diverse investor base, comprising of shareholders from around the world, and with no single controlling shareholder. VEON employs more than 60,000 people worldwide.
Confident legal position
I want to be absolutely clear: VEON is not the subject of any sanctions imposed by the European Union, the United States or the United Kingdom, and our counterparties’ ability to continue to do business with us has not been impacted by these measures.
We have received numerous questions regarding sanctions against a former director and indirect shareholders of VEON, so let me also address that particular concern.
Following the imposition of sanctions on Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven on 28 February 2022 by the Council of Europe, Mr. Fridman has resigned from his position as a member of the Board of VEON. Mr. Fridman and Mr. Aven have also resigned from their positions as members of the Boards of Directors of LetterOne Investment Holdings S.A., LetterOne Holdings S.A. and LetterOne Core Investments S.a.r.l. (“LetterOne”).
Furthermore, I would underscore that LetterOne does not have a controlling shareholding stake in VEON—neither as a matter of governance nor as the concept of “control” as interpreted under applicable law.
Protecting our employees and customers
We have been taking specific actions and will be doing all that is in our power to protect the safety of our employees and their families affected by the conflict. We continue contributing to humanitarian support across all our countries. And our technology is more relevant and necessary to our customers than ever before, ensuring continued connectivity, access to information, and it is also being used to help millions of displaced people and locate missing persons.”
Committed to further engagement with our stakeholders
In closing, VEON’s Chief Executive Officer Kaan Terzioğlu notes, “Continued engagement with our stakeholders is more important than ever. We deeply value our relationship, and we will continue to maintain an open dialogue, providing you with timely, accurate and relevant information about VEON’s strategy, plans and performance”.
VEON is a NASDAQ and Euronext Amsterdam-listed global provider of connectivity and internet services. For more information visit: www.veon.com
This press release contains “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 are not historical facts, and include statements relating to, among other things, expectations regarding the sufficiency of VEON’s liquidity to meet its obligations, the impact of further sanctions imposed by the European Union, the United States or the United Kingdom, the safety of our employees and customers, and continued engagement with our stakeholders. 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. 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 date or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.