Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has announced that, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Telecom Povolzhye, it has acquired three regional mobile businesses from Russia’s SMARTS Group, namely Penza-GSM, SMARTS-Ivanovo and SMARTS-Ufa. In total, MTS has acquired the three companies for a price of RUB3.13 billion (USD53.66 million) including debt, from SMARTS Group which is a mobile operator active in the Volga and Central Regions. MTS says the deal will enable it to improve and enhance its spectrum resources in a number of key regions of the Russian Federation. Penza-GSM owns 14.8MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band and 6.2MHz in the 900MHz range, while SMARTS-Ivanovo owns 14.2MHz (1800MHz) and 10.0MHz (900MHz), and SMARTS-Ufa owns 14.6MHz (1800MHz).
The disposal marks the latest in a series of sales made by SMARTS Group. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in November 2014 the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) rubber-stamped a deal under which SMARTS divested units to Vimplecom (Beeline), namely 100% of regional cellco Astrakhan GSM, which reported revenue of RUB316 million in FY 2013, and a 61.67% stake in SMARTS Cheboksary, which generated RUB106.5 million of the regional cellular group’s total RUB1.338 billion turnover.
SMARTS Group still has an active presence in several major Russian areas, namely: Samara, Saratov, Ulyanovsk and Yraloslavl regions, and Bashkortostan, Kalmykia, Mariy-El and Mordovia republics.