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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

State to Revamp Svyazinvest by 2011

GENEVA — The government plans to restructure Svyazinvest, the state-controlled holding company for fixed-line telephone regional operators, by spring 2011 and may sell shares in the new company in 2012, Communications and Press Minister Igor Shchyogolev said Monday.

“We will finish the restructuring by spring 2011,” Shchyogolev said.

The government will then consider listing the company on different stock exchanges in 2012 if market conditions will allow it to get a “just” price, he said. Shares can’t be sold earlier because investors will want to see accounts for at least one year, he said.

The state will consider selling a “substantial part” of its stake, he said, declining to say whether it aims to keep a majority.

The government has approved the plan to restructure Svyazinvest by merging all seven of its publicly traded fixed-line regional operators with Rostelecom, the country’s dominant long-distance phone operator, controlled by Svyazinvest.

The restructuring is the most important event of the year for Russia’s telecommunications industry, Shchyogolev said.

“We hope that after this reform both the company’s capitalization and its clarity and attractiveness to investors will increase significantly,” the minister said.

“There are definitely very serious competitive opportunities” in Svyazinvest’s restructuring, he said.

The new company, “set up on the basis of Rostelecom,” will provide “a complete range of services, from broadband and fixed-line to mobile and the most advanced services based on IP protocols,” the minister said.