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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

MTS Acquires Broadband Provider Multiregion for $124M

Mobile TeleSystems, the country's biggest mobile phone operator, said Friday that it had acquired broadband and cable television provider Multiregion in a move to boost exposure to the fast-growing market segments.

MTS, the key asset of services conglomerate Sistema, paid $123.5 million in cash for a 100 percent stake and will assume debts totaling roughly $94.4 million.

"The acquisition will significantly enhance our position in the rapidly growing broadband and cable TV markets in the Russian regions," chief executive Mikhail Shamolin said in a statement.

"As the largest integrated telecommunications provider in Russia and the CIS, MTS will be able to provide its customers a broad, innovative and bundled offering of mobile and fixed-line telephony, high-speed broadband Internet access and television services in over 110 cities in Russia," he said.

Russian mobile phone operators are seeking to boost their exposure to the fast-growing, but underdeveloped, broadband Internet market as mobile phone penetration in Russia nears 145 percent and data transfer displaces voice as the main driver of sales.

MTS, which in April applied to the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service for approval to buy Multiregion, said the company's financial results would be consolidated in its financial statements from Friday.

MTS shares outperformed the broader market on Friday, gaining 0.3 percent in Moscow. The benchmark MICEX Index of 30 stocks fell 0.9 percent on the day.