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Megafon likely to buy Akado for $1.2 billion

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Megafon, Russia’s second-largest mobile operator, is likely to approve the purchase of Internet and cable television operator Akado for about $1.2 billion by the end of July, Vedomosti reported, citing unidentified managers from both companies.

Moscow-based Akado -- one of Russia’s leading cable operators. At end-2010 Akado reported 618,900 broadband subscribers and 511,700 cable TV customers.

The sale price – around $1.2 billion, including debts, estimated at some $370 million as of the beginning of this year, though now apparently down to around $200 million – is apparently the same today as was reported half a year ago.

Apparently under the terms of the proposed deal, Megafon would pay 70% of the sale price in cash immediately and the remaining 30% later, depending on Akado’s financial performance.

Renova Industries, which is backed by Viktor Vekselberg, and Yuri Pripachkin, the current owners of Akado, have been looking to sell the company since 2009.

Should the deal be finalised, Megafon, which is already one of the leading mobile companies in Russia, would also become the largest provider of broadband internet services in Moscow.

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