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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Altimo Seeks a Deal in West

Altimo, the telecoms arm of Alfa Group, is in talks with international telecommunications majors about a possible merger or partnership, senior vice president Roger de Bazelaire said Tuesday.

"We are in talks with all large Western operators -- Vodafone, France Telecom, Telefonica -- and with small operators," Bazelaire said.

"They all show a lot of interest because we are the backyard for them -- they are present in Western Europe, they are present in Central Europe, they invest there. We are the next market for them," he said.

Alfa has long been talking about setting up an international company in which it could fold in its stakes in Vimpelcom, Russia's second-biggest mobile phone operator, MegaFon, the third-biggest, and fixed-line company Golden Telecom.

"We are talking about the creation of a joint venture or a merger depending on how big the company we are talking to is," Bazelaire said.

"One of the configurations, if we are talking about Vodafone or Deutsche Telekom, is that we would put together a selection of our assets while they would put together their assets in emerging markets, if there were any, and then they would be managed as one company," Bazelaire said.

He also said Altimo was interested in expansion outside the former Soviet Union, especially in Asia.

"If we buy something in the next 12 to 18 months, it will be in Asia," Bazelaire said, adding Altimo was interested in the markets of Vietnam and India.