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Truphone sale completed after Government security green light

Staff Reporter
January 25, 2023

eSIM pioneer and global MVNO sold for £1 after Russian owners were hit by sanctions

German businessman and tech entrepreneur Hakan Koç (above) and former telecoms executive and private equity investor Pyrros Koussios have completed the takeover of eSIM and global mobile MVNO Truphone from Russian oligarchs for £1.

The sale was delayed by an interim order by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. made under the UK’s new National Security and Investment Act, Koç and Koussios had to wait for a security review to be completed and was not a threat to national security.

The company was valued at £410 million in 2020 and received more than £300 million of investment from Russian oligarch Abramovich and his business partners Alexander Abramov and Alexander Frolov.

Russian oligarch Abramovich: lost millions of Truphone investments after sanctions

Abramovich owned 23 per cent of Truphone, with Abramov and Frolov owning most of the rest. They now lost more than £300 million of their investment after being hit by international sanctions.

The assets have been bought by TP Global Operations, a new company owned by the two Investors. They intend to fund the business and its future development

Truphone has agreements in 200 countries with over 400 networks offering services used by around 2,000 enterprise customers.

The takeover was concluded after the Government gave National Security and Investment Clearance and a license was awarded from the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation.

Truphone owns compliance tech for recording mobile communications and messages for regulated financial institutions. Its eSIM technology is expected to grow as more devices, such as the iPhone 14 in the USA, start shipping without traditional plastic SIMs

The core Truphone network and MVNO have licenses in nine countries to develop IoT applications.

“Truphone is an innovative and highly specialized mobile telecommunications player at the forefront of important innovations like the eSIM technology,” said Koussio. 

We were attracted to the breadth and sophistication of the services offered. The company has continued to grow despite the uncertainties caused by its prior ownership and delivered growth well above 20 per cent. This impressive performance underlines the quality and resilience of the business as well as the commitment of its employees.”

Koussio: “We were attracted to the breadth and sophistication of the services offered

Hakan 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 our accelerated growth plans and delivering innovative products for our customers.

“The funding will accelerate capital investment in the core network while building new software and API-driven digital capabilities to address the needs of enterprises and tech companies. 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.”

Truphone chairman Jeremy Fletcher explained:

“ Koç and Koussios are both successful entrepreneurs. Now that the ownership issue is resolved, they have a plan for growth. With the help of the UK Government, OFSI team and BEIS ISU unit, we have preserved the value of the business and the jobs of our employees.”

Truphone CEO Harry Odenhoven added:

“Truphone offers a rich set of communication services to multinational clients with international communications needs. We are trusted by banks, device manufacturers, network providers and companies”


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