The board of Indian mobile network operator Sistema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL), which operates under the MTS India banner, have given an in-principle approval for the telco to launch an initial public offering (IPO), the Economic Times reports. Vsevolod Rozanov, president and CEO of SSTL, said of the matter: ‘The proceedings to list the company on the local bourses have been initiated. We will now have to work out the details of the IPO such [as] the amount of stake to be divested amongst other issues. While the board approval is through, the listing will happen depending on the market conditions. Today, the market does not look right for an IPO, but it will happen over the next few quarters. Besides, our business model has to be convincing and we need two to three quarters of stable results before we go in for a listing.’
Presently the cellco, which as of January 2010 offered commercial CDMA-based services in eleven circles across India, is 74% owned by Russian services conglomerate Sistema. However, in September 2009 it was revealed that the Russian government was preparing to acquire a 20% stake in the cellco from Sistema for approximately USD680 million. While the sale was initially due to have taken place prior to the end of 2009, it is understood that it has been delayed as a result of approvals from varying government ministries in Russia having yet to come through.