MOSCOW, April 9. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has approved the application of Megafon telecom operator for the purchase of Svyaznoy retailer, according to a statement of the regulator.
The transaction implies that Lefbord Investments Limited (a company affiliated with Megafon) is to buy the Svaznoy Logistics company and Mobile telecommunication service which is part of Svyaznoy.
Earlier, Megafon reported that it was considering an option of concluding a deal with Solvers group of businessman Oleg Malis on the merger of Euroset and Svyaznoy. As a result of the transaction, Megafon could become a minority shareholder of the merged company.
Svyaznoy is now controlled by the Solvers group of companies. In turn, Euroset is 100% owned by Megafon.
In December 2017, the general director of Megafon Sergei Soldatenkov, said that the operator plans to unite it with another retailer within a month after the completion of the deal on the division of Euroset.
At the same time, Gevorg Vermishyan, the company's executive director, said that Megafon considers the merger of Euroset and Svyaznoy as the most probable deal.
The deal between Veon and Megafon on the division of business of the network of the Euroset mobile phone outlets was closed at the end of February 2018.
The Solvers group is the controlling shareholder of Svyaznoy. Svyaznoy N.V. is a holding company of the Svyaznoy. Svyaznoy logistics is controlled by Trellas Enterprises Limited. The network of Svyaznoy has about 2,700 outlets.
Before 2008, Euroset belonged to its founder Evgeny Chichvarkin. In autumn 2008, he sold the company to Alexander Mamut, who in turn sold 49.9% of Euroset to VimpelCom for $226 million. In December 2012, Mamut sold a controlling stake in Euroset for $1.07 billion. In the result of that deal MegaFon and Garsdale holding received 25% each in Euroset and 0.1% was bought by VimpelCom. In the summer of 2014, the share of Garsdale passed to MegaFon and since then the operators owned Euroset on a parity basis - each holding 50% of the shares.