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MOSCOW, January 16 (Itar-Tass) — One of Russia’s largest mobile phone operators, MegaFon, has expressed readiness for launching an initial public offering, the company’s CEO, Sergei Soldatenkov, said in an interview with the Kommersant business daily on Monday.
He underlined that shareholders would have the final say.
“If to speak about the company, we were ready for this long ago,” he said. “We have all necessary instruments for this: we participate in ratings, we publish financial data and audit reports.”
If “the owners express an intention to take the company to the IPO, six months will be enough for this,” Soldatenkov said.
MegaFon’s shareholders are the Finnish-Swedish telecommunication company TeliaSonera that owns a 43.77 percent stake, AF Telecom Holding with a 31.13 percent stake and Allaction Limited (Cyprus), Alfa Group consortium’s unit with 25.1 percent.
Soldatenkov said in 2014-2015 the company plans to become a leader on the fixed internet access market. Moreover, the company seeks to develop 3G network and fourth-generation, or 4G, mobile communication.
Soldatenkov did not rule out an opportunity for buying other mobile phone operators on the market.
As for the purchase of MegaFon by Rostelecom, Russia’s telecommunications company and leading long-distance telephony provider, “this opportunity, probably, cannot be fully ruled out,” he said.
He underlined that the talk can be about the creation of a joint ownership structure, because each of Russia’s three biggest mobile phone operators, including MegaFon, have a very high cost.
“MTS and Vympelcom (Beeline) are public companies and it is much more difficult to merge with them than with MegaFon, which is owned by three private shareholders. Therefore suppositions that Rostelecom may merge with MegaFon are made more often. I do not know whether shareholders will take such a step or not,” Soldatenkov said.
He expressed an opinion that it would be inexpedient to fully merge MegaFon with Rostelecom.
“It would be a more sound decision to leave them independent, but to search for synergy,” he said.