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Alexander Kiselev, director general of Svyazinvest, says the decision has been made as the cell assets would become cheaper with the coming of 3G networks.
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June 25, 2007
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Svyazinvest Puts Cell Assets Up for Sale
Svyazinvest is planning to sell its cellular operators with 10 million of subscribers within the next eighteen months, the holding said Friday. Those in the industry laud the decision, saying that the assets could be sold at a top price now, fetching no less than $1.5 billion.
Alexander Kiselev, director general of Svyazinvest, says the decision has been made as the cell assets would become cheaper with the coming of 3G networks.

The move is yet to be endorsed by Svyazinvests board of directors in the first half of 2008, according to deputy director general Vladimir Zhelonkin. As a sale option, assets may be sold at auctions, the official said.

Svyazinvest may reap more than $1.5 billion from the cell assets, experts estimated. Anton Inshutin from Deutsche UFG evaluates the assets at $3 billion, Uralsvyazinform accounting for one-third of the sum. The price for the assets, however, may jump at auctions. VimpelCom is eyeing Dalsvyaz, a Far East-based company which could become the first asset for the operator in the region. Meanwhile, Andrey Girev, director general of Volga Regions SMARTS, has announced his interest in the regional Volgatelecom.

Telecommunication market analysts say Svyazinvest has made a very reasonable decision. Those assets could really fetch a top price now, says Andrey Bogdanov from Troika Dialog. They are not likely to attract a lot of new subscribers while some of the current ones will go to the big three operators. Some will go for the 3G technology. Other analysts say that the big three, MTS, Beeline and MegaFon, will be ready to offer a good price to outbid their regional rivals.

www.kommersant.com

All the Article in Russian as of June 25, 2007

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