Svyazinvest sale still on the cards

11 Feb 2009

The privatisation of Russia’s national telecoms holding company Svyazinvest is still under consideration, and the election of new board members today could kick-start the process. The privatisation of Svyazinvest has been on the cards for years but successive governments have failed to push a deal through. Meanwhile, the Russian government is looking at buying out Svyazinvest’s two private shareholders, Comstar UTS which holds 17.31% and MGTS Finance which owns 7.69%; both these firms are controlled by AFK Sistema. The government controls the remaining 75% minus one share and a report from RBC in Moscow suggests that it is looking to take its ownership to 100% before then proceeding with a privatisation. Agreeing a deal will depend on Sistema’s valuation, however, and IT Minister Leonid Reiman says a final decision has still to be made.