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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Svyazinvest Snaps Up 3 Regional Cellular Firms

The Svyazinvest telecoms holding is in acquisition talks with three major mobile phone operators in the Volga, Ural and Far East regions.

If the deals go through, Svyazinvest will become the country's fourth-largest operator and will be able to offer almost complete coverage for the Volga region, the Urals, Siberia and the Far East.

According to a source close to the negotiations, Svyazinvest is nearing completion in the purchase of a 50 percent stake in PrimTelefon, which owns a GSM license for the Far East region.

Svyazinvest is also negotiating for the purchase of Tatinkom, controlled by Tatneft, and the Yekaterinburg mobile phone company, the source said.

VolgaTelecom -- Svyazinvest's Volga region branch -- plans to increase its share in Astrakhan, Volgograd and Saratov mobile operators, said Vladimir Lyulin, the general director.

The new acquisitions would add to Svyazinvest other mobile assets in Nizhegorodskaya Sotovaya Svyaz, Baikalvestkom, Yeniseitelecom and Yuzhno-Uralsky Sotovoi Telefon.

Solid, an investment company that is seeking a buyer for the Tatinkom shares, would not comment on possible buyers.

Oleg Mikhailov, head of Svyazinvest's information department, confirmed that it is negotiating to buy shares of other mobile phone companies, though none of the proposed deals had been put before the board of directors.