Sistema abandons Kosmos TV purchase, may sell MTS

Russian conglomerate Sistema has abandoned plans to acquire a 50% stake in pay TV operator Kosmos TV, which would have given it overall control of the operator, and may sell its 52.8% stake in quad-play operator MTS, according to local reports.

Russia’s RBC Daily has reported that Sistema is in discussion with unnamed parties to sell its holding in MTS. However any deal would require Russian government approval.

Sistema president Mikhail Shamolin reportedly said that the purchase of the Kosmos TV stake from broadcasting network RTRS had been abandoned due to lack of clarity about the LTE-suitable frequencies held by the Moscow operator.

The news comes as Sistema turns its attention to a large-scale sale of assets announced by the Russian government. Shamolin said that Sistema would look to be stakes in mid-sized companies being sold by the government as part of the RUB1.16 trillion (€28 billion) asset-sale programme over the next three years.

Separately, MTS’s board of directors has approved the purchase of Sistema-Invenchur, which owns a 29% stake in the Moscow City Telephone Network (MGTS), for RUB10.56 billion. The deal will give MTS a 94.1% stake in MGTS. The deal must still by approved by Sistema’s board.

Tags: MTS, Russia, Sistema

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