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Russia's Rostelecom buys mobile operator Sky Link

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Russian telecoms operator Rostelecom said on Friday it has completed a deal to acquire a 100% stake in CDMA operator Sky Link from its state-run shareholder Svyazinvest.

Under the deal, Rostelecom’s subsidiary Mobitel exchanged 1.91% or 9.4 billion rubles worth of its total stake in Rostelecom for a 50% stake in Sky Link, currently held by holding Svyazinvest.

As a result of the deal, Rostelecom gained full control over Sky Link, as the remaining 50% stake in Sky Link is held by Sky Link itself, and Svyazinvest increased its common stake in Rostelecom to 45.28% from a current 43.37%.

Svyazinvest’s shareholders approved the deal with Rostelecom on Monday.

The Federal Antimonopoly Service cleared Rostelecom to buy Sky Link last November.

The deal is part of state-controlled Rostelecom's strategy to boost its share of the lucrative mobile market to offset sluggish sales at its core, fixed-line business.

The government currently owns a 53.25% common stake in Rostelecom, and the Federal State Property Management Agency and state-owned Vnesheconombank (VEB) holds 7.43% and 2.45% in the operator, respectively, in addition to Svyazinvest’s stake.

The government holds a 75% minus one share stake in Svyazinvest, while Rostelecom holds the remaining 25% plus one share stake in the holding.

($1 = 32.2980 Russian roubles)

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