Russian mobile operator Vimpelcom has acquired a 78 percent stake in Millicom's mobile operator in Laos.
The remaining 22 percent of Millicom Lao is owned by the government of the Laos government. The acquisition price is estimated to reach USD 66 million, based on the enterprise value of Millicom Lao of USD 102 million. The acquisition is scheduled for completion by end-2009. With a population of 6.5 million inhabitants, mobile penetration in Laos currently stands at 23 percent. According to Boris Nemsic, VimpelCom CEO, the operator's entry into Laos is the next logical step in the company's international expansion strategy. Laos provides a complement to VimpelCom's existing operations in Vietnam and Cambodia and fits into the company's strategy of building a solid Southeast Asian cluster, Nemsic said. The VimpelCom Group currently operates in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia, Armenia, as well as Vietnam and Cambodia.