Russian mobile giant MegaFon and WiMAX-turned-Long Term Evolution (LTE) operator Scartel (Yota) have reportedly completed the previously announced merger of their telecoms assets, according to Dow Jones Newswires. The deal, which was approved by the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) on 15 June, will ultimately give MegaFon access to around 50% of Russia’s existing LTE frequencies in the 2.5GHz-2.7GHz spectrum band. However, the precise financial and operational details of the merger have yet to be disclosed by either party. Last month the antitrust regulator’s director, Igor Artemyev, stressed that any deal between the two companies must not prevent third parties from using the LTE frequencies on a wholesale basis, as had previously been agreed.
In April 2012 Telecominvest, which is majority-owned by billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who secured control of MegaFon just days earlier via AF Telecom, confirmed its intention to form a holding company which would own 100% of Scartel and 50% (plus one share) of MegaFon. Usmanov would, in turn, own 80% of the as-yet-unnamed holding company. At present, Scartel is 74.9% owned by Telconet Capital Limited Partnership, a privately owned investment fund, with the remaining 25.1% stake held by the government’s Russian Technologies State Corporation.