Russian "Indigo" spoke Swedish

    MCT completed the sale of Tele2 a 100% stake in the Dutch offshore company Vostok Mobile Severo-Zapad , which is the sole shareholder of the mobile operators Arkhangelsk Mobile Networks and Novgorod Telecommunications, and also owns controlling stakes in Murmansk Mobile Network and Parma-Mobile " (Komi Republic). At the same time, Tele2 agreed with minority shareholders of the last two operators to redeem their shares, as a result of which the Swedes will become their sole shareholders. The total transaction amount was $ 35 million.

    Initially, all four mobile operators worked in AMPS / dAMPS standards, but subsequently switched to a more modern GSM standard. With their sale, more than a ten-year history of MCT's stay in Russia ended. The corporation was founded in 1992 specifically for the development of telecommunications in Russia and the CIS countries. The peak of its activity occurred in 2000/01, when MCT, having agreed to acquire two foreign telecommunication holdings - RTDC and Vostok Mobile, consolidated various blocks of shares in 25 Russian mobile operators. In order to build a unified federal network, MCT even developed a new brand - Indigo .

    However, such ambitious plans collapsed in 2002 when MCT failed to complete the acquisition of RTDCand the holding eventually moved to the St. Petersburg group of signalmen. After that, MCT began to gradually sell off its remaining assets. The main buyers were Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) and Tele2, which bought six cellular operators each from the Americans. Three more operators were acquired by the St. Petersburg group of signalmen, and one by Sibirtelecom, a member of the Svyazinvest holding.

    “The deal with Tele2 completes our planned exit from the Russian cellular market, allowing the company to concentrate its resources on Central Asian assets that have significantly greater growth potential,” said Gart Self, president of MCT-Russia. Now MCT retains controlling stakes in the Tajik operators Somoncom and Indigo-Tajikistan, as well as the Uzbek operator Koskom. In addition, MCT owns a 12% stake in Roshan, the second largest Afghan mobile operator.

    As for Tele2, after making this purchase, she received a representative office in 17 Russian regions. “This acquisition is intended to strengthen our already strong position in the dynamically growing Russian mobile communications market, where we occupy fourth place among Russian telecommunications operators,” said Tele2 President Lars-Johan Jarnheimer. “We are very pleased with the growth dynamics of TELE2 Russia and look forward to further successful development.” It is worth noting that the Swedes made their entry into the Russian market in 2001 by purchasing the assets of Millicom International Cellular , an investment corporation that also has American roots.

    “The purchase of MCT’s assets refutes rumors that Tele2’s business in Russia is failing and the company intends to sell its assets,” says Margarita Zobnina, IKS-Consulting senior expert . “Of course, they will not be able to catch up with the big three mobile operators, but it is quite possible to seriously squeeze their positions in some regions.”

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