Rostelecom, the giant Russian fixed line telephony provider, has begun the process of acquiring a 25% plus one share stake in its controlling stockholder, business daily Vedomosti reports. Rostelecom has agreed to buy the stake in Svyazinvest from Moscow-based fixed line operator Comstar United TeleSystems for RUB26 billion (USD855 million). Svyazinvest, a holding company for many national and large regional Russian telecoms assets, owns nearly 51% of Rostelecom’s shares.
Rostelecom has formally asked the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) to approve the purchase; the state has endorsed the reorganisation of Svyazinvest under the Rostelecom umbrella, to increase the holding company’s efficiency and reveal the true value of its assets. As part of this process, Rostelecom directors last week approved ratios for a planned stock swap between the subsidiary and eight regional fixed line operators.