. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Trade Mission Revisits STET Telecom Tender

ROME -- Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Kadannikov, on a mission to win Italian investments, said Tuesday he hoped to breathe new life into a telecommunications deal that fell apart last year.

Kadannikov, on a five-day visit to Italy, said he would meet STET SpA managing director Ernesto Pascale to discuss the Italian company's interest in buying part of Russian telecommunications holding company AO Svyazinvest.

He also was scheduled to meet Michele Tedeschi, president of state holding group IRI, which controls STET.

STET won a tender for 25 percent of Svyazinvest last November but the deal hit a stumbling block a month later when STET failed to make an initial payment, saying it wanted all of the Russian firm's 85 subsidiaries re-registered first.

If the deal had gone forward it would have been the biggest foreign investment in Russia and the biggest privatization in the country's history.

Kadannikov said he hoped to make progress in reviving the STET deal during his stay in Italy.

"The negotiations with STET are continuing even though the obstacles remain," he told reporters after co-signing two bilateral economic cooperation agreements with Italian Foreign Minister Susanna Agnelli.

He said the remaining questions were "the magnitude of influence that STET wants to acquire in the entire Russian telecommunications market and some methods of financing which haven't been defined yet."

Under one of the new cooperation agreements, Russia agreed to simplify legal hurdles to Italian investors; in the other, the two countries pledged "just and equal" treatment of each other's investments.