FAS approves Svyazinvest, Mobitel deal; North-West Telecom snaps up Severen Telecom

4 Jan 2011

Russian competition regulator the Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) has confirmed that it has given state-owned telecoms holding company Svyazinvest the green light to acquire a combined 99.99% stake in Russian mobile operator Mobitel. Svyazinvest will buy 41.41% in Mobitel through its long-distance fixed line operator Rostelecom, whilst the remainder of the company’s shares will be purchased through Svyazinvest subsidiaries Center Telecom, North-West Telecom (NWT), Uralsvyazinform, Sibirtelecom, Volga Telecom, Far East Telecom (Dalsvyaz) and Southern Telecommunications.

In related news, NWT has completed its mooted acquisition of 100% of the shares of Severen-Telecom, which provides broadband services to corporate clients in the St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast areas. According to NWT, Severen-Telecom owns one of the most diversified fibre-optic networks in St. Petersburg, totalling over 1,200km. It reports a subscriber base of 2,700 corporate clients, and is present in 210 business centres. The company also has a fixed line capacity of 27,820 telephone numbers, of which 7,300 are currently used by existing subscribers. The transaction has been valued at RUB850 million (USD27.7 million), less the company’s liabilities. Vladimir Akulich, CEO of NWT, commented: ‘The purchase of Severen-Telecom will enable North-West Telecom to greatly enhance its market positions in the B2B segment of the high-margin markets of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast’.

Finally, the FAS has also confirmed that it has cleared fellow Svyazinvest subsidiary Far East Telecom to take full control of regional operator Kapital Plyus. The firm, which is based in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, on former convict settlement Sakhalin Island, reportedly offers fixed line telephony, broadband and VoIP services. No financial details of the transaction have been provided.

Russia, Far East Telecom (Dalsvyaz), North-West Telecom (NWT), Svyazinvest