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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sistema Seeks Partner to Buy Svyazinvest

LONDON -- Sistema is seeking a partner to bid for Svyazinvest, the national fixed-line phone company, if the government sells it this year as planned.

The group will bid for Svyazinvest in a partnership either with a Russian or a foreign investor, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, Sistema's president and owner, said Wednesday in London.

Sistema raised $1.56 billion last year in Russia's biggest-ever initial share sale.

"The whole fight for Svyazinvest is happening because it's a brilliant way to secure access to the last-mile end-users," he said. Svyazinvest "has been developed for many years and it's a valuable and interesting" asset.

Russia last year said Svyazinvest may be offered for sale in the second half of 2006. The government has promised to sell its remaining 75 percent stake in the company since 1997, when it auctioned a 25 percent stake to a group including George Soros for $1.88 billion.