Russian telco Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has announced that it has acquired a 100% stake in Tatarstan-based Teleradiokompania, which operates under the TVT brand, from an unnamed group of investors. The company has a presence in 15 cities across the Republic of Tatarstan, and boasts the region’s largest pay-TV subscriber base, which exceeds 500,000. In addition, TVT’s broadband network covers 600,000 households, with broadband services currently offered in the cities of Kazan, Naberezhnye Chelny and Nizhnekamsk. TVT also offers fixed line telephony in Kazan, with an installed number capacity of 110,000. The deal has been priced at USD162.9 million, although MTS will also assume the company’s net debt of USD17.1 million. The acquisition will allow MTS to strengthen its leadership position in Tatarstan and enter the pay-TV, broadband and fixed telephony markets in the Republic for the first time.
TeleGeography notes that the acquisition of TVT marks the latest in a long line of regional takeovers staged by MTS, as the mobile giant seeks to compete as a full-service telecoms provider. In April 2011 MTS acquired 100% of Inteleca, an alternative fixed line operator that provided broadband and cable television in Barnaul and Biysk in the Altai Region using fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) infrastructure. More recently, in August 2011, MTS confirmed that it had acquired a 100% stake in four separate fixed line companies operating under the ‘Altair’ brand in Tula, in the Central Federal District. Altair is the largest cable TV provider in Tula, with a 72% market share. Further, the company has 22% of the local broadband market and its 500km fibre-optic network covers more than 90% of the city’s households.