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Vimpelcom payments to Euroset at $146.1 mln for 9M of 2012

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MOSCOW. Feb 12 (Interfax) - OJSC VimpelCom paid cellphone and consumer electronics retailer OJSC Euroset dealer commissions and bonuses of $146.1 million in January-September of last year, says the prospectus for a bond issue by Vimpelcom Holdings, which owns the big-three telecommunications operator.

The company does not break that figure down into dealer commissions and bonuses. The Euroset press service also is not saying.

In 2010, the two companies had a contract stipulating a set commission for signing up new subscribers. On the first of this year, they clinched a new one-year revenue sharing contract, per which operators pay their retailer a percentage of the sales revenue from a signed-up subscriber for a set period. Vimpelcom management has said it is counting on a drop in such payments due to the shift to this kind of contract.

The securing of the new agreement preceded a deal that that had Vimpelcom buying from businessman Alexander Mamut 0.1% of Euroset, thereby increasing its stake in the company to an even 50%. Mamut sold the other 50% in the retailer to another big-three telecom, OJSC MegaFon, and its shareholder, the holding Garsdale, whose main beneficiary is Alisher Usmanov. MegaFon has also inked a revenue sharing contract with Euroset.

VimpelCom's previous, three-year contract with Euroset was signed at the beginning of 2010. According to the Vimpelcom Holdings prospectus, the operator paid the retailer $159.1 million in 2009, including $146.9 million in dealer commissions, $191.4 million in 2010, and $197.3 million in 2011.

Euroset's closest competitor, retailer Svyaznoy, announced last week that Vimpelcom had substantially reduced its stake in that chain - from 50% to 23% - last year due to the expiration at the start of the year of their marketing agreement.

The distribution of Euroset sales between the telecoms has not been revealed. However, a telecommunications market source told Interfax that considering Euroset's new contracts with its main shareholders, VimpelCom and MegaFon would each have roughly 40% stakes in the electronics chain.

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