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Home Telecom Roman Abramovich-owned British telecoms firm sold for £1

Roman Abramovich-owned British telecoms firm sold for £1

Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

German tech entrepreneur, Hakan Koç, and former telecoms executive and private equity investor, Pyrros Koussios, have acquired global mobile operator Truphone.

Koç and Koussios are said to have snapped up the assets and subsidiaries of Truphone Limited for £1 following the completion of the company’s restructuring and the recent receipt of National Security and Investment Clearance from Grant Shapps MP, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The company, previously part-owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, the former owner of Chelsea football club who was sanctioned by the UK Government following Russian’s all out invasion of Ukraine in 2022, was valued at £386m in 2018.

Koç and Koussios intend to immediately provide additional funding to support the ongoing business and its future development, with a particular focus on its leading product offerings in the areas of:

• The growing market of compliance solutions for recording mobile communications and messages for regulated financial institutions. This is a domain where Truphone already offers some of the most innovative solutions accepted by regulators, serving the increasing demands for compliance technologies that financial institutions like banks and asset managers are facing

• Its leading eSIM technology for supporting mobile network operators and global device manufacturers meeting customer demand for eSIM-enabled communications as more devices start shipping without traditional plastic SIMs

• The unique international capabilities of the core Truphone network and its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licenses in nine countries – with new countries to be added – to develop and grow applications in the Internet of Things (IoT) space

Koussios said: “Truphone is an innovative and highly specialized mobile telecommunications player, with established industry-leading R&D at the forefront of important innovations like the eSIM technology. We were attracted to the breadth and sophistication of the services offered. The company has continued to grow strongly in 2022 despite the uncertainties caused by its prior ownership and delivered growth well above 20%. This impressive performance underlines the quality and resilience of the business as well as the commitment of its employees.”

Koç added: “I know a great tech company when I see one. Truphone’s R&D hub in Lisbon is impressive. We now look forward to executing on our accelerated growth plans and deliver new and innovative products for our customers. The funding that we are providing will accelerate capital investment in the core network, while building new software and API-driven digital capabilities to address not only the needs of enterprises but also those of tech companies. I consider myself the startup ambassador of the company and it reminds me of banking before the Fintech-wave: this may be one of the last big industries where tech meets legacy processes, and we are here to fix it – it will be fun.”

Harry Odenhoven, CEO at Truphone, added: “Truphone is a great business built on top of a privately owned and operated core global telecommunications network, offering a rich set of value adding communication services to sophisticated multinational clients with international communications needs. We are trusted by leading banks, device manufacturers, network providers and companies around the world – and have played a key role in supporting our partners with the challenges that the current macro-environment continues to bring. I want to thank all our customers and suppliers for the support and trust in the last year and the years to come.”

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