Russian investment company VTB Capital, part of state-controlled VTB Group, has bought an unspecified minority stake in satellite TV operator National Satellite Company, which operates under the ‘Tricolor TV’ brand. VTB Capital has revealed that it plans to take measures aimed at increasing the operator’s market value and prepare the company for an initial public offering (IPO). VTB Capital did not disclose the size or value of the stake it purchased. According to the Prime Tass news agency, the company is Russia’s largest pay-TV operator, with a subscriber base of more than 12.4 million as of 25 March this year.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, late last month Sweden’s Tele2 Group agreed to sell Tele2 Russia to the VTB Group in a cash transaction comprising USD2.4 billion in equity value and USD1.15 billion in net debt. VTB is a leading Russian financial institution, and its most notable business unit is arguably VTB Bank (formerly known as Vneshtorgbank). In the telecoms sphere, VTB’s interests include a 33.3% stake in Bulgaria’s Vivacom, which it acquired in November 2012.