Telenor has begun the process of exiting from VimpelCom by announcing details of a public share offering in the US.
The sale, following a long-running corruption scandal, represents 24.5 percent (142.5 million shares) of the Norway-based operator’s stake. In total, it owns 33 percent of VimpelCom.
While the price at which the shares will trade has yet to be determined, Telenor said underwriters would be offered the chance to purchase up to 21.4 million additional shares at the public offering price.
The company also said that it “may” launch a three-year bond to non-US residents prior to the start of the offering.
This would be exchangeable into VimpelCom shares worth up to $1 billion with an exchange premium that “could be” up to 35 percent.
Telenor announced plans to sell its shareholding last October.
Since then, VimpelCom admitted corruption had taken place at its opco in Uzbekistan and paid a fine of $795 million to authorities in the US and the Netherlands.
A string of senior execs have left Telenor in the fallout, including its Chairman and CFO.
The operator has also cancelled a consultancy contract with its former CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas.
Telenor did not comment beyond providing details of the share offering.
Investors could yet be put off by further bad news from VimpelCom.
Last week, the CEO of its Russian subsidiary Beeline resigned over alleged corruption at his former employer.
VimpelCom registered broadly flat revenues of $2.2 billion in the second quarter, while EBITDA fell nine percent to $795 million.