World VoIP NewsSvyazinvest suspends merger talks with MegafonSvyazinvest suspends merger talks with Megafon

Svyazinvest suspends merger talks with Megafon

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Russia's Svyazinvest is reported to have suspended plans to merge its mobile network subsidiaries with the smallest of the country's three dominant mobile networks, Megafon.
­A Svyazinvest spokeswoman told Dow Jones News that the company is no longer negotiating with Megafon and the proposal is on hold until next year. No explanation was given for why the talks were suspended.

Svyazinvest is primarily a landline operator, but also owns 14  mobile networks, which operate in four federal districts.. The mobile networks had around 16 million subscribers at the end of last year, equivalent to a market share of 9%. A study carried out by consultants, McKinsey recommended merging the networks with another company.

Earlir this year, state-owned Svyazinvest and AFK Telecom controlled by Alisher Usmanov, which holds a 31.1% stake in MegaFon issued a declaration to consider a merger which could have resulted in Usmanov taking an equity stake in Svyazinvest. Usmanov aquired his stake from the mysterious Bermuda-registered IPOC, which has been reported to be linked to the former Telecoms Minister, Leonid Reiman. Despite repeated claims to the effect, Mr. Reiman has repeatedly denied being the beneficial owner of Megafon.

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