Tag Archives: investment

What Mohamed Amersi is saying about the Telia deal

Mohamed Amersi
Mohamed Amersi

Mohamed Amersi is generally unknown in Sweden, but in the 2010s he was a legendary dealmaker in the emerging markets of Eurasia. For several years, Telia hired Amersi and his company to facilitate the company’s investments in Turkey, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Russia, and Uzbekistan. 

As background, Amersi says “I have a long experience of doing M&A business in emerging markets. In Latin America for Telefonica, in the Middle East for Etisalat, Oredoo and Zain, in Africa for Etisalat, MTN and Zain, in Russia for Veon to name a few clients. In total, I have participated in transactions corresponding to approximately 1,000 billion Swedish Kronas.” Within these deals, Amersi provided both legal expertise and input from his corporate, finance, private equity, and venture capital experience.

“At the time of Telia’s business in Eurasia, the company had ambitions to become a global player in telecoms, primarily through acquisitions in emerging markets. To succeed in this,” Amersi explains,  “a successful acquisition strategy was required. At that time, the two merging companies – Swedish Telia and Finnish Sonera – already had a presence in Eurasia through the operators Megafon, Turkcell, and Fintur. But the competence of the merged company needed to be strengthened to be able to continue to acquire and manage operators in Eurasia.” As Amersi attests, he is arguably the only person who could both handle the M&A directly, “and had insight into the local culture and could work both sustainably and profitably.”

Amersi reiterates that Telia Sonera was also interested in finding and acquiring operators in other emerging markets. That is why his company was hired for an ongoing role in advisement to merge Swedish-Finnish company. Ultimately, the merger was meant to bring Telia new operators outside of Eurasia, with expansions in emerging countries such as Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Iran, and Ethiopia.

It was precisely Amersi’s cultural litheness and familiarity that allowed him to make valuable contributions to the Telia merger process. To Amersi, his role was “about general advice, resolving ownership disputes, understanding local regulatory issues and not least evaluating and concluding agreements with local partners.” These local partners, says Amersi, are often quite powerful and wealthy; their support is key to making any deal.

“But unlike what has been described in the press, it is not about bribes at all. It is crucial that the deal is started in the right way. It must be made clear to the responsible authorities, regulatory units and other authorities and parties that there will be no bribes.” 

Mohamed Amersi

Toward that end, Amersi adds that the collaboration with prominent local partners must be fully established and clarified from the very beginning. This allows for clearly described roles and responsibilities,” as well as clear payment flows. Amersi also says that local partners must be required to co-own the merged entity, giving them a financial stake (and risk) that come with the co-ownership. Amersi’s insistence on the local partners is in fact built on the principle that “value creation in the merged business that profits and dividends can be made. Not through bribes. It is in collaboration with a weak partner that corruption most often occurs.”

Furthermore, Amersi insists that a culture of giving back must be inherent in any merger process. “It is about creating local jobs, education and skills development locally, and not trying to minimize taxes, but paying full local tax.”

Mohamed Amersi

As for his involvement with Telia, Amersi clarifies “My role in this transaction was of a technical nature…I was asked as an advisor to make a check of the valuation made of Telia’s finance function and to be helpful in developing an optimal structure for the transaction. In addition to my assignment, Telia had hired world-leading lawyers with recognized good competence and experience in negotiating and drafting agreements, as well as conducting audits and due diligence.  I, therefore, did not participate in the negotiations themselves or directly in the implementation of the deal or in any part of the review and due diligence.”

Ultimately, it is clear from the investigations and a conversation with Amersi that not a single error was found, or any remark made.  Telia’s auditors also reviewed the relationship between the companies.  Amersi is a man of truth, integrity, and respect; these are his keywords for trust and transactions of all kinds.

Google Investing Big in Australia

In what will be Google‘s largest investment in Australia to date, the tech giant said it will build a research hub, enlarge cloud computing, and fund joint projects with local organizations to the tune of $740 million.


The investment is called “The Digital Future Initiative” and will likely create about 6,000 jobs directly and support 28,000 more secondary jobs.


“Australia can help lead the world’s next wave of innovation, harnessing technology to improve lives, create jobs, and make progress,” said Sundar Pichai, a Google executive who spoke at the launch in Sydney.


Scott Morrison, prime minister of Australia, also spoke at the launch, saying: “The decision by Google has major benefits for Australian businesses as we engage with the economic recovery before us.”


Other Australian groups will take part in the initiative, including the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia’s government science agency.


A representative of DivisionX Global, a hi-tech investment company, Joshua Kennedy-White said Google’s initiative is a “huge win” for the Australian tech sector.


“It takes money to move an idea into innovation and the first money is the hardest to come by. If Google cut $250k cheques to promising start-ups, they could fund 4,000 new tech companies in Australia,” Kennedy-White said.

Money Management during dual crisis

How to Manage a Dual Crisis: Coronavirus and Market Meltdown

The CEO of Source Financial Advisors, Michelle Smith, has issued several suggestions for how the financial community can endure two conflating situations: the economic fallout of the coronavirus and market declines.

Be in Touch

Use technology to maintain contact with clients. Video platforms should be utilized as much as possible to offer a face-to-face personal interaction. While working remotely may mean that things are a bit more casual, it is important to keep things professional.

Be Authentic

The need to maintain decorum and professionalism notwithstanding, it is also important to be genuine with clients. They want to know that their money is in good hands, but they also want to have a sincere conversation about life. Start and end every conversation with a client by discussing their wellbeing. Ask how they are managing and feeling. Give them the assurance they need. Show them that you care about their physical, mental, and financial health.

Michelle Smith advises maintaining professionalism alongside authenticity during these trying times.

Be Pro-Active

When things are uncertain it is tempting to switch to preservation mode. We have a fiduciary responsibility to do our best for those who are already clients; we may not have the bandwidth to grow our business. But as we focus on the clients we have, we should also maintain business contacts and relationships that can help our business in the future. Look for opportunities in various sectors and actively pursue leads.

Be Thoughtful

Clients are worried about a lot of things right now. It is the job of financial planners and economic advisors to ensure that money is not an additional concern. The current health concerns coupled with economic uncertainties present people with two extremely basic fears: being alone and broke. Now is not the time to overwhelm clients with statistics and trends. Listen closely to what the clients are saying and what they feel most comfortable with at this time. This is unchartered territory for everyone. Every individual, business owner, team leader, and industry specialist is figuring out how to navigate these uncertain times. In the money management field, being attentive, genuine, forthcoming, and caring is the best business practice right now.

Kentucky A Surprisingly Good Place to do Business

Photo courtesy Andreas Faessler.

Many US states are benefiting from the upward movement of the economy and a renewed improvement in investments. States that want to maximize the rewards of this economic upturn are working hard to attract both foreign and domestic money.

One state that is doing its utmost to attract investment is Kentucky, a place in middle America that lost a lot of jobs in coal and manufacturing over the past 20 years. This year that state is seeing a record amount of investments. Officials announced that Kentucky invested $9.3 billion in corporate investment last year, leading to the creation of 17,000 new jobs, the most since the year 2000.

The state is confident it can continue to create jobs in the future. It has a skilled workforce and a growing business climate, according to Governor Matt Bevin.

“We have a great workforce. I have invested $250 million in workforce development in the last two years,” Bevin said.

Beer Giant Flooding Capital into US Company

Anheuser-Busch InBev, announced its plan to invest $2 billion into its operations in the Unites States. The world’s largest brewery, AB InBev is looking to tackle declining volumes and shrinking market share of its flagship product Budweiser.

The company recently purchased its closest competitor, SABMiller for almost $100 billion.

They said that the $2 billion initiative is one of the largest capital investment programs in the history of the US beer industry. They stated that they will be putting close to $500 million into the company this year, and the rest of the $2 billion by the year 2020.

Plans for the money include over $200 million on brewery and distribution projects in 2017, with $82 million to improve the national supply outlets and to build distribution warehouses in Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio.

In addition, they hope to expand production of aluminum bottles and begin to make a larger variety of beers through investment in its 21 US breweries. Adding non-alcoholic drinks are also on the to-do list, with products such as the ready-to-drink tea Teavana, which it is making together with Starbucks.