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Russia’s mobile operator Megafon announces its IPO plans

October 09, 2012, 11:58 UTC+3

The company plans to float shares of Sweden’s TeliaSonera AB and its subsidiary – Megafon Investments

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MOSCOW, October 9 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s second largest mobile phone operator MegaFon has announced its plans to start an initial public offering at the London Stock Exchange and the Moscow Stock Exchange.

The company plans to float shares of Sweden’s TeliaSonera AB and its subsidiary – MegaFon Investments.

MegaFon hired Morgan Stanley (MS) and Russia’s Sberbank KIB as global coordinators, and Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse and VTB Capital as joint bookrunners.

The company’s director-general, Ivan Tavrin, said MegaFon’s IPO announcement indicates “the beginning of a new stage in the company’s development.”

“Now it is quite suitable time for this, the company’s business has grown,” he said.

Tavrin expressed confidence that MegaFon “is a unique potential emitter” for the market, as it specializes only on business in Russia and has no plans to develop beyond the country.

This will give shareholders and investors an opportunity to concentrate on the Russian market, he said.

MegaFon considers two variants of using the IPO funds.

“We can insignificantly reduce our debt and can also use these funds for both the network’s development as well as for other corporate purposes,” Tavrin said adding that the company has no certain plans for buying something significant on the market.

The mobile phone operator intends to focus on two directions in the near future – customer centricity and the increase of internal efficiency as well as processes related to capital costs and operating expenses.

Tavrin emphasized that the IPO will require certain changes in the composition of the board of directors.

“We will adhere to the highest standards of corporate management,” he said.

In April 2010 MegaFon became Russia’s second mobile phone operator by the number of subscribers. According to the company, as of October 2011 the number of MegaFon’s subscribers reached 60.682 million.

At the end of April MegaFon’s owner Altimo, the telecoms investment arm of Russia’s Alpha Group, sold its 25.1 percent stake for 5.2 billion U.S. dollars.

Now the company is controlled by AF Telecom Group of Russia’s richest man Alisher Usmanov. Sweden’s TeliaSonera AB owns a 35.6 percent stake and MegaFon Investments – a 14.4 percent stake in the operator.

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