Vodafone has denied press reports that it is in talks over a possible deal with Russia’s Alfa Group which has stakes in the country’s second and third largest cellcos, Vimpelcom and MegaFon. UK newspaper The Times reported that Vodafone and Alfa are considering a GBP15 billion (USD28.5 billion) tie-up which could see Alfa taking a 20% stake in Vodafone. There is also speculation that the pair could be mulling a joint venture, while Alfa is also thought to have approached other major players in Europe, including Deutsche Telekom and France Télécom. A Vodafone spokesperson has told Dow Jones, however, that: ‘There is no substance to this’. Vodafone is one of the world’s largest cellular operators but has no operations in Russia.