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JV set up by Tele2 and Rostelecom may be headed by financier

January 23, 2014, 21:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, January 23, 21:31 /ITAR-TASS/. The joint venture being created by Tele2 and Rostelecom, Russia’s leading telecom operator, may be headed by a financier close to the JV’s shareholders, Andrei Kostin, President of VTB Bank (one of the Tele2 Russia shareholders) said at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday, January 23.

“I think it will most likely be a well experienced financier. I do not think it will be a person with a long record of work in the telecom sector. We will announce him shortly,” Kostin said.

He noted that the candidature of Vadim Semenov, chairman of Rostelecom’s Board of Directors, had not been not considered even though the business daily Vedomosti had claimed otherwise. “We have never discussed it. I have no idea where they got it,” Kostin said, adding that there were three candidates, “all close to the present shareholders.”

The joint venture of Tele2 and Rostelecom will be created in 2014 as the fourth federal telecom operator in Russia. Rostelecom will have a 45 percent stake in it, with the remaining 55 percent to be shared by Tele2 Russia co-owners: VTB, Yuri Kovalchuk’s Bank Russia, and Alexei Mordashov’s Invintel B.V.

Rostelecom is Russia’s largest national telecommunications operator with presence in all Russian regions. The Group is a universal operator and undisputable leader of broadband and pay-TV markets in Russia with over 9 million fixed-line broadband subscribers and over 6 million pay-TV subscribers. As Rostelecom develops its mobile data networks, its position as a major mobile operator is growing with over 13 million currently subscribed to Rostelecom’s mobile voice services. The Company currently has approximately 28 million local fixed-line voice subscribers and it is the leader in the corporate and government services segment. The Group is also an important innovator that provides solutions in the field of medicine, E-Government, cloud computing and education.

Rostelecom was assigned a ‘BBB-‘ and ‘BB+’ international credit ratings by Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s respectively, both with a ‘Stable’ outlook. The Group generated 321 billion roubles of consolidated revenues and 34.5 billion roubles of net income in 2012.

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