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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Paper: Comstar CEO May Quit

Comstar CEO Eric Franke may step down in June after the release of the company's first-quarter results, Kommersant reported Monday, citing sources close to the company.

Repeated calls to Comstar officials went unanswered Monday. Analysts said that if Franke left, it would be because the company was continuing to trail main competitor Golden Telecom in both market capitalization and growth.

Comstar, a fixed-line operator, reported a fourth-quarter loss of $63.1 million in April after facing charges linked to an executive bonus scheme and an acquisition.

Comstar raised nearly $1 billion in an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange more than a year ago.

Franke, 50, was plucked from Mobile TeleSystems in June last year to replace Semyon Rabovsky as CEO of Comstar. MTS and Comstar are both owned by the Sistema conglomerate.

Nadezhda Golubeva, an analyst with Aton Capital, said that although Franke was recruited to lead Comstar's push into the CIS, no major progress had been made there or at home. "Looking at Comstar from the performance perspective, it has been a lackluster year for Eric Franke," she said.

Andrei Bogdanov, telecom analyst for Troika Dialog, dismissed the notion that Franke might leave, saying he would be difficult to replace.

"Within the little time he assumed leadership of Comstar, Franke has restructured its operations and brought in new management," he said.