According to Russian financial website AK&M, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has approved MegaFon’s acquisition of 100% of the shares of regional mobile operator New Telephone Company (NTK). NTK operates in the Primorsky Krai, a region in the Far East of Russia which is bordered by China and North Korea, and often referred to as the ‘Maritime Province’. AK&M reports that NTK currently boasts a 39.40% share of the regional market, compared to MegaFon’s 23.52% market share. The merger will give MegaFon a 62.92% of the wireless market in the Primorsky Krai.
As reported by CommsUpdate last month, MegaFon was vying with state-owned holding company Svyazinvest and mobile operators Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) and Vimpelcom to acquire the regional cellco. Although the financial terms of the deal have not been revealed, in November 2010 South Korean owner KT Corp hired Credit Suisse to manage the sale of the unit, and a price-tag of USD500 million was mooted for KT’s 80% share. As at the end of December 2010 NTK reported 1.5 million wireless subscribers, making it the tenth largest mobile operator in Russia.