Telia Company has sold an approximately 6% stake in MegaFon for around SEK3.2 billion (USD392 million), leaving the Swedish group holding roughly 19.0% of the issued share capital of the Russian cellco. The sale, in line with Telia’s strategy to focus on the Nordics and Baltics, means that MegaFon will be re-classified from an Associated Company to a Financial Investment in Telia Company’s Q4 2017 financial reporting.
Johan Dennelind, Telia Company’s President and CEO, said: ‘Telia Company is one of the founders of MegaFon and we have since the inception actively contributed to its success of becoming a mobile and digital leader in Russia. As we are now focusing on the Nordic and Baltic regions within the framework of our New Generation Telco strategy, it is natural that we reduce our exposure to MegaFon. Even after the sale, Telia Company will remain the second largest shareholder in the company and we will continue our constructive cooperation with the main owner USM Group to create value for all shareholders.’ USM Group, a non-public entity, is ultimately controlled by Russian business magnate Alisher Usmanov, whilst MegaFon has public listings in Moscow and London.
The transaction involved placing shares to institutional investors via an accelerated bookbuilding offering in which Sonera Holding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Telia Company, sold an aggregate of 38.5 million ordinary shares in MegaFon at RUB585 (USD10.11) each.