Sistema seeks greater Svyazinvest stake

21 Apr 2009

Russian telecoms group Sistema is considering placing a bid for a further 25% stake in the country’s incumbent operator Svyazinvest, Reuters reports. Sistema already holds an indirect 25% plus one share stake in Svyazinvest through subsidiaries Comstar UTS and MGTS Finance. In October 2008 Sistema proposed that the government buy back its 25% share for USD1.9 billion. However last week the stake was valued at just USD668 million, leading the company to look at increasing its stake instead. Sistema spokesperson Yulia Belous said, ‘Comstar is going to file a proposal to the government to buy another 25% of Svyazinvest, based on a valuation made by Ernst & Young. In our opinion, this valuation was made based on very conservative forecasts for Svyazinvest’s development. We believe that we can present ourselves to the state as a more efficient manager (of Svyazinvest).’ The government reportedly has no intention of selling its shares in Svyazinvest.