AKADO sale hits the skids as MegaFon shareholders balk at inflated price-tag

1 Sep 2011

According to Vedomosti the proposed sale of Russian cableco AKADO Telekom to wireless operator MegaFon has hit a stumbling block, with the latter’s shareholders reportedly unable to agree on the value of the Moscow-based company. The Russian newspaper reports that key MegaFon shareholders TeliaSonera and Altimo have both objected to the asking price of USD950 million – which includes net debts of USD350 million – although the MegaFon board is expected to meet in late-September to discuss the long-running acquisition. Under the terms of the deal proposed in March, MegaFon was expected to pay 70% of the sale price in cash, with the remaining 30% payable at a later date, with certain clauses triggered by AKADO’s future financial performance. The mooted deal between MegaFon and AKADO follows the former company’s acquisition of 100% of Moscow-based internet service provider (ISP) NetByNet for USD270 million in June. The deal effectively paved the way for MegaFon’s long-coveted entrance into the lucrative Moscow broadband market.

TeleGeography notes that the figure of USD950 million represents a sizeable reduction from the USD1.2 billion fee mooted in July 2011, albeit far higher than the USD650 million price-tag agreed between AKADO and state-owned telecoms holding company Svyazinvest in September 2010, a deal which ultimately fell through after an internal dispute between Svyazinvest board members. In late 2010 Svyazinvest officially ended its interest in AKADO, and pressed ahead with the acquisition of alternative cableco National Telecommunications (NTC) instead.

Russia, AKADO Telecom, MegaFon