Russian investment fund RFPI is mulling a minority stake purchase in the country’s dominant fixed network operator Rostelecom, in partnership with Arab investors, reports Telecompaper citing Russian newspaper Kommersant. The roughly 15% stake in Rostelecom is currently held by Mobitel, a subsidiary of state-controlled Rostelecom itself, and is valued at over RUB41 billion (USD631 million), a source familiar with the matter was quoted as saying. Arab companies Mubadala Development Company and Kuwait Investment Authority cooperate with Rostelecom on other projects, but the firms declined to comment on the report. RFPI, in cooperation with Deutsche Bank, previously acquired a 2.7% stake in Rostelecom for USD236 million in 2013 but sold the shares back to Rostelecom in 2014-2015.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the Russian Federation (via the Federal Agency for State Property Management) holds a 45.04% equity stake (48.71% voting share) in Rostelecom, while holding company Mobitel owns a 16.24% equity (15.06% voting) stake. The only other 2%-plus share is held by Vnesheconombank (3.96% equity/4.29% voting), with the remaining 34.76% of share capital in free float or held by other, unspecified, shareholders.