According to Vedomosti, minority shareholders of Russian cableco National Telecommunications (NTC) have refused to sell their stakes to new majority owner Rostelecom, citing a prohibitively low valuation. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in February 2011 Rostelecom acquired an indirect 71.8% stake in NTC. The state-owned national operator obtained 21.8% of NTC itself (by purchasing the stakes belonging to Surgutneftgas (10%), Raybrook (10%) and 1.8% of National Media Group’s (NMG) shareholding), whilst two of Rostelecom’s sister companies – which have since been merged with Rostelecom itself – Uralsvyazinform and North-West Telecom (NWT) each purchased a 25% stake from main shareholder NMG. The remainder of the company is believed to be owned by financial organisations Gazprombank, VTB Capital and Sberbank Capital; under Russian law Rostelecom was required to initiate a buy-out offer following its takeover.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, NTC is Russia’s largest cable TV operator, and its cable network passes at least 5.1 million households in Moscow, Moscow Region, St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk. At end-2010 NTC counted around 4.6 million pay-TV subscribers and 464,000 broadband customers.