Moldovan authorities have reportedly found a buyer for bankrupt mobile operator Eventis Mobile, a subsidiary of Russian telecoms company Eventis Telecom, itself owned by Russian businessman Gleb Ognyannikova. Russian newspaper Kommersant reports that the winning bidder is Victormax-Sistems, a newly created company which has no experience in the provision of mobile services. Victormax-Sistems won the tender, in which only two companies participated, with a bid of MDL120 million (USD9.8 million), MDL2 million higher than the initial price of MDL118 million. The latest auction is the fourth attempt to sell Eventis Mobile; the first took place in September 2010 and failed to attract a single bid, despite early interest from the likes of Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia and Vimpelcom. Eventis’ local rivals Moldcell and Orange Moldova were also believed to have declined to make an offer. A second tender also failed to attract any bids, while a third attempt saw the sale of Eventis Mobile to AITEL Sistem cancelled, after it was discovered that the buyer was affiliated with Eventis’ creditors.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Eventis Mobile, which at its peak managed to secure just 1% of the Moldovan wireless market, was declared insolvent by a Chisinau court in March 2010 with debts of USD7.5 million. The company’s operating licence was suspended and its subscribers were transferred to the networks of rival operators. Eventis launched commercial services on 31 December 2007, having invested USD35 million in its network infrastructure which at launch provided 40% population coverage. Over the next two years coverage was gradually expanded to other parts of the country, but the firm failed to meet the requirement of its licence to cover 60% of the population by the end of 2009 (managing just 42%), bringing it into conflict with telecoms regulator ANRCETI.