FAS approves transfer of WiMAX firm FreshTel to VEB

4 Aug 2014

Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has given its permission for a 99.9% stake in Russian WiMAX operator FreshTel to be transferred from Cyprus-based Comenetti Investments to local financial group Vnesheconombank (VEB).

While the identities of the owners of Comenetti Investments are unknown, TeleGeography notes that FreshTel’s controlling shareholder is said to be Icon Private Equity, which is co-owned by Russian tycoon Suleiman Kerimov and Ukrainian billionaire Viktor Pinchuk.

According to local media reports, VEB is unlikely to hold onto the asset for long, with Rostelecom named as a potential buyer; VEB currently holds a 3.79% stake in Rostelecom and the two companies have a close working relationship.

The impact of the deal on FreshTel’s Ukrainian sister company, Ukrainian High Technologies, remains unclear.

Russia, FreshTel Russia (InterProject)