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Russian government may turn GLONASS union into joint stock firm

June 05, 2014, 12:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Creating a joint stock company from GLONASS with a further expansion of the number of shareholders through a placement of new sharesIt may help to attract investment
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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Dzhaparidze

MOSCOW, June 05. /ITAR-TASS/.The Russian government may turn non-commercial Partnership GLONASS, which will provide services on the basis of the state accident emergency response system ERA-GLONASS, into a joint stock company and sell a minor stake in it to attract investment, business daily Kommersant reported Thursday.

ERA-GLONASS’ strategy has been recently discussed at a meeting held by Kremlin’s Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov, a source with the knowledge of the situation told the daily.

“The Transportation Ministry suggested creating the ERA-GLONASS operator as a public-private partnership by creating a joint stock company from GLONASS with a further expansion of the number of shareholders through a placement of new shares,” the source said.

Russia’s most known satellite monitoring system is Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) was developed as an alternative to the US’ Global Positioning System (GPS), the EU’s future Galileo positioning system, and China’s future BeiDou positioning system.

At present, the GLONASS partnership comprises 12 companies, including state-controlled telecom giant Rostelecom, Internet company Yandex and the country’s three largest mobile operators - MTS, MegaFon and VimpelCom, operating under the Beeline brand.

The partnership has not yet been valued, but the government has spent 3.9 billion rubles on the infrastructure of ERA-GLONASS and now spends 500-600 million rubles on its maintenance. The system needs another 3.5-4.0 billion rubles for the development.

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