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ER-Telecom files with regulators to buy Akado

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MOSCOW, Jul 12 (PRIME) -- Russian wireline operator ER-Telecom last week filed a bid to the antitrust service seeking to receive permission to buy Internet and pay TV provider Akado Group, an official with the regulator told PRIME Thursday.

According to the official, the Federal Antimonopoly Service will consider the bid within one month.

The regulator did not say which stake of Akado ER-Telecom wants to buy. A source familiar with the matter told PRIME that ER-Telecom intends to acquire 100% of Akado.

The price of the deal has yet to be discussed, the source also said.

In late June, a source close to Akado’s shareholders told PRIME that ER-Telecom had reached a preliminary agreement on the acquisition.

Akado is one of the largest wireline broadband operators in Russia with around 800,000 broadband and pay TV services in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the Moscow Region.

Akado’s major shareholders are billionaire Viktor Vekselberg’s multi-industry group Renova holding a 67% stake and Yury Pripachkin, who owns the remaining 33% through CMCR Management.

In 2010, Renova was close to selling its stake to wireline operator Rostelecom, but the deal failed because Rostelecom’s parent firm, state-run telecommunications holding Svyazinvest, said that Akado’s valuation of U.S. $1.2 billion was overestimated.

In 2011, the shareholder of major mobile operator MegaFon’s intended to buy Akado for $900 million, but the operator’s management rejected the deal.

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