Russian conglomerate Sistema has confirmed that a court has ‘arrested’ stakes it holds in a number of companies including Russian/CIS network operator Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) due to a legal dispute with oil group Rosneft. Reuters reports that Rosneft is suing Sistema for around USD2.85 billion damages over the purchase of oil producer Bashneft. Sistema said the Russian court froze a 31.76% MTS stake held by Sistema, plus shares in the energy and medical sectors. Its statement added: ‘Contrary to the court order, the bailiffs imposed extra restrictive measures which, in addition to the arrest of shares, limit the rights of Sistema … to receive any income on the arrested shares … Sistema disputes the claim and considers the demands of the claimants to be unlawful and unfounded.’
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, at 31 March 2017 Sistema owned a 51.12% stake in MTS (including 50.03% directly), with the remainder in public free float in the US and Russia.