By Jean-Yves Charlier, Chief Executive Officer
We are proud to announce that VEON and Hutchison were recognised at the TMT M&A Awards 2017 as winners of the Telecom M&A Deal of the Year for the EUR 22 billion merger of Wind Italia and 3 Italia in Italy.
I would like to thank TMT Finance for this prestigious award, which recognises the hard work and dedication of our teams in bringing together Wind and 3 Italia. The merger was one of the largest M&A transactions in Italy since 2007, and marked an important milestone for the telecommunications industry in securing approval from the European Commission. The combined business created a strong new operator, Wind Tre: #1 in mobile and #2 fixed telecom operator in Italy*.
The award follows Wind Tre’s recent refinancing of its debt, optimizing its capital structure, reducing annualized interest costs and improving maturities. This transaction was the largest high yield transaction of a European issuer since 2014. These refinancing benefits are incremental to the opex and capex synergies announced with the merger and are expected to assist in the further acceleration of cash flow generation and deleveraging.
Wind Tre’s TMT M&A Deal of the Year award and the latest debt refinancing underscore our belief that the business in Italy is on the right path. Looking ahead into the future, we are excited now more than ever to develop the company further, in order to become the most innovative digital telco with the largest and best mobile broadband network in the country.
We would like to thank everyone in the team for their stellar work day and night for over two years on making this merger happen. Congratulations to everyone who was involved in this complex transaction!
This release contains forward-looking statements. Certain factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in any forward-looking statements, and include the risk factors described in VEON’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2016 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Please also refer to the disclaimer section of our website: click here.
* based on Wind Tre estimates 2016, number of customers