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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

MTS Buys 50% Stake in Comstar

MOSCOW —MTS said on Tuesday that it has completed the acquisition of a 50.9 percent stake in fixed-line provider Comstar for 39.15 billion rubles ($1.32 billion).

The deal mirrors a 2008 acquisition by MTS's main rival, VimpelCom, of fixed-line provider Golden Telecom, which created the first integrated fixed-to-mobile telecom operator in Russia and former Soviet states.

These moves aim mainly to boost the mobile firms' exposure to the fast-growing and underdeveloped broadband internet market at a time when mobile-phone penetration in Russia nears 140 percent and data transfer displaces voice as the main driver of sales.

MTS bought the stake from services conglomerate Sistema — the parent of both the companies — for 184.02 rubles per share and has yet to decide whether to buy the remainder through a nonobligatory buyout offer to minority shareholders.