Armenian tech upstart Team acquires Telecom Armenia after Ucom deal implodes
In a major shakeup of Armenia’s telecom sector, the state regulator in October 2020 approved the sale of the country’s oldest fixed-line and mobile operator, Telecom Armenia, to Team LLC, a company formed by two former executives and co-founders of Telecom Armenia’s competitor Ucom.
The purchase ended a long-running process beginning when Telecom Armenia’s previous owner, VEON, broke off talks with Ucom itself. This followed the arrest on corruption charges of a former finance minister who held a majority stake in Ucom, and the subsequent disappearance of his son and the head of Ucom’s Board of Directors.
Having pulled out of the deal with Ucom, VEON immediately went ahead and sold its local unit to Team. Ucom attempted to block the sale through the courts, but was unsuccessful. The sale represented a wider policy by VEON to focus on markets where it has better prospects of revenue growth.