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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tele2 to Buy Millicom's Russia Assets

Sweden's second-biggest telecoms operator, Tele2, said Monday it had agreed to buy the Russian mobile telephony assets of operator Millicom for $80 million.

It said in a statement it would pay Millicom International Cellular SA an additional $30 million if Millicom's Russian operations receive additional GSM licenses for other parts of the country.

Millicom has controlling stakes in 10 operators on the AMPS/D-AMPS cellular standard, all of which are set to receive GSM-1800 licenses by year-end as part of an agreement signed in May with the Communications Ministry. The company also has a 20 percent stake in NMT-450 operator Moscow Cellular Communications.

Millicom's Russian assets combined correspond to 124,000 subscribers.

"The opportunity to purchase MIC's Russian assets is a natural progression following our success in developing the business in the Baltics, notably the Estonian business purchased off Millicom in 1998," Tele2 chief executive Lars-Johan Jarnheimer said.

"Russia is a growth market with exciting prospects, and Tele2 now has a strong base to build a substantial business with the benefits of eight GSM licenses," he said.

Tele2 said its shareholders would be asked to approve the deal at an extraordinary shareholders meeting Nov. 28. The two sides confirmed the negotiations Oct. 31.

Millicom has a 12.73 percent stake in Tele2, which offers mobile and fixed-line services throughout Europe.

(Reuters, MT)