eSIM firm TruPhone set for '£1 sale' after Abramovich sanctions

(Image credit: AndreyPopov)

UK-based eSIM specialist TruPhone is reportedly set to be sold for just £1 following the imposition of sanctions on Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who is a part owner of the business.

Reports say German businessman Hakan Koç and his associate and former telecoms executive Pyrros Koussios will acquire 90% and 10% of the company, which had been valued as much as £410 million in 2020.

Abramovich owns a 23% stake in Truphone, with the remainder of shared owned by his business partners Alexander Abramov and Alexander Frolov, with the trio investing around £300 million, according to The Times.

eSIM adoption

Under the terms of the sale, the current owners will receive up to a third of the original funds they invested should the company perform well – provided none of them are subject to sanctions at the time.  

Neither Abramov nor Frolov has been subject to UK sanctions themselves, but Abramovich’s stake has led to difficulties for the company.

In early April, it acknowledged the challenges and said that it had appointed FRP Advisory to review its strategic options moving forward, adding that customers would not see any changes.

“It should be emphasised that Truphone is not subject to any sanctions,” it said. “The business will continue to operate as usual, and we remain committed to delivering the highest quality of service to customers and partners, as well as ongoing support to its employees.”

Software-based eSIMs marry the functionality and capability of a SIM card with the ability to change provider remotely, aiding consumer choice, enabling new service models, and offer manufacturers greater flexibility in design. Truphone’s technology powers the Apple SIM capability, while it has partnerships with several major mobile operators, including BT.

Via The Times

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.