Russian government looking to rivals for Rostelecom privatisation

The Russian government may look to offer a majority of service provider Rostelecom’s shares to its three main rivals in order to privatize the company without letting it fall into foreign hands, according to local reports.

The government is looking to realize approximately US$5 billion (€3.8 billion) from the sale of Rostelecom. However, according to the reports, the Russian Ministry of Defence has insisted on maintaining state control over the company, leading the government to seek a compromise whereby foreign investors will be ruled out and shares will be sold to MTS, Megafon and VimpelCom, the other three main telecom providers.

Separately, in telecom holding company Svyazinvest’s shareholder meeting has approved the takeover of the company by Rostelecom. Svyazinvest shares will be cconverted to Rostelecom shares.

Svyazinvest’s operating companies are expected to cease to exist as separate entities by October.