MTS opts out of buying state’s 51% stake in MTS Belarus

17 Nov 2011

Dow Jones Newswires reports that Russian mobile group Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has decided not to purchase the 51% stake it does not already own in Belarusian affiliate Mobilniye Telsistemy (MTS Belarus) in the government’s auction, which is slated for 1 December. TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reports that the Ministry of Communications and Informatisation (MoCI) of Belarus has invited no fewer than 50 international companies – ranging from western Europe to Russia and the Middle East – to take part in its forthcoming auction of a 51% stake in the domestic mobile operator. Ministry head Nikolai Pantelei informed the press at a conference held on 11 October, that the minimum price for the equity stake on offer is USD1 billion. But that announcement came to the dismay of MTS, which indicated it would have bought the remainder – but only for what it considers a fair price. ‘We are satisfied with how our rights as a junior partner of the state and a strategic partner in this endeavour, are being respected,’ MTS said in a written statement.

Belarus, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), MTS Belarus