Report Sees Rostelecom Merging Wireless Assets with Tele2
- Nov. 04 2013 18:55
- Last edited 18:55
State-controlled telecoms group Rostelecom may cede control of its mobile assets to bankáVTBáand bankeráYury Kovalchukáin a deal that will merge its wireless business witháTele2áRussia,áaccording to news reports.
Former fixed-line monopoly Rostelecom,áRussia's fifth-biggest wireless carrier, has long been expected to become a partner for bigger mobile rivaláTele2áRussia, with speculation renewed in April when state-controlledáVTBáboughtáTele2áRussiaáfromáSweden'sáTele2áfor $3.6 billion.
Last month,áVTBásold half ofáTele2áRussiaáto affiliates of Kovalchuk's Bank Rossia and tycoonáAlexei Mordashov, and Rostelecom said separately it could put its mobile assets under the management of a partner to focus onácable televisionáandábroadbandáinternet.
Rostelecom is likely to get a stake of between 40 and 49 percent in the combined mobile company, whileáVTBáand Kovalchuk will get from 51 to 60 percent, Vedomosti reported Friday.
Bank Rossia, Rostelecom andáVTBádeclined to comment.
"We think that the disposal of the mobile assets would be strategically positive for Rostelecom, as focusing on core, well-positioned businesses should improve the company's investment case," Sberbank analysts said.
"More importantly, abstaining from developing the wireless segment would be positive for generating free cash flow as capex should start falling.