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Beeline officials mum on sale buzz

Beeline officials mum on sale buzz

Questions remained yesterday about the fate of mobile operator Beeline Cambodia following the sale of parent company Vimpelcom’s Vietnamese assets earlier in the week.

Despite a report on Tuesday in the Russian newspaper Kommersant that sources close to Vimpelcom’s shareholders had said the sale of Cambodian operations was under consideration, company officials declined to comment on the possibility of such a transaction.

Beeline Cambodia general manager Gael Campan referred questions to senior management at Vimpelcom headquarters in Amsterdam.

Vimpelcom group director of communications Bobby Leach was not immediately available for comment yesterday.

He told the Post on Tuesday it was “too early to tell” what would happen with Beeline in the Kingdom.

But Marc Einstein, an independent telecoms analyst based in Tokyo, said  he assumed a sale was “imminent”.

“They have finally realised that they messed up. They went into a market that was way too competitive  . . .  and it didn’t work,” he said.

Einstein predicted a domestic player would buy Beeline, though he questioned the value of the company’s subscriber base.

The Cambodian market is known for its high customer churn rate, he said.

“Do we have to buy these customers or do we hold a strong promotion and get them ourselves?” Einstein said, referring to questions companies would ask before considering an aquisition.

Beeline had about 630,000 subscribers as of November, according to figures obtained by the Post.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Brennan at [email protected]

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