Control over Tele2 will cost Rostelecom 240 billion rubles

    The state-owned company Rostelecom is preparing to become the sole owner of the T2 RTK Holding (Tele2 brand) cellular company. The transaction has already been agreed with the shareholders of Tele2, plus Rosimushchestvo has prepared a document allowing Rostelecom to increase its stake in Tele2 to 100%, as reported by Vedomosti.

    However, the department said that a request from Rostelecom was not received to prepare such a directive. This is indicated by representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development. If the transaction takes place, the acquisition of control over Tele2 will cost Rostelecom 240 billion rubles - that’s how much T2 RTK Holding is valued. It is quite possible that the state-owned company will receive not 100% of the package, but a volume that allows speaks of owning a controlling stake in Tele2.

    According to experts, the cost of Tele2, taking into account the debt, can be 200 billion rubles. By the end of the third quarter, the net debt of this company had already reached 120 billion.

    Currently, Rostelecom owns 45% of Tele2. The remaining shares are owned by Tele2 Russia Holding AB, in which VTB owns 50%, Invintel BV Alexey Mordashov 40% and 10% belongs to the bank Russia Yuri Kovalchuk.

    The fact that Rostelecom is interested in the possibility of buying Tele2, it became known back in May 2017. Then the general director of the state-owned company said that the operator was consulting with officials on this issue. A year later, he said that Rostelecom was not holding any negotiations with Tele2 about the possibility of increasing its share. Obviously, the negotiations were canceled, but the reason for the cancellation was not disclosed.

    A few months later, negotiations were resumed again. In September last year, it became known about the offer to pay Tele2 with securities - quasi-treasury shares.

    Shares of the company itself, some part, the state operator could sell VTB. The fact is that now Rostelecom plans to pay for the purchase of 55% of Tele2 with quasi-treasury shares and money. In addition, it is likely that state-owned companies will have to attract credit funds (although it is unclear which bank and in what volume this loan can be issued. ”12.01% of the share capital of Rostelecom is owned by a subsidiary of the state operator, Mobitel. on Wednesday was approximately 23.5 billion rubles.

    It should be noted that in Russia there is formally no state-owned operator, although Tele2 is as close as possible to this definition. The fact is that part of the company's shares belong to Rostelecom, and a part to the state bank VTB. The transaction, if it takes place, will not affect the business of Tele2. A major redistribution of the mobile market due to this transaction is also not expected.

    Nevertheless, the acquisition by Rostelecom of control over Tele2 will improve the conditions of the so-called convergent tariffs. The fact is that Rostelecom is, in fact, a monopolist in the fixed-line market, which will be complemented by the mobile business Tele2. The transaction will also help operators to reduce costs, for example, to remove redundant functions.

    Corporate and government customers will be able to get interesting offers based on the consolidated capabilities of Rostelecom. Currently, convergent packages are offered by Vimpelcom, MTS and Rostelecom, although these proposals are not very popular.

    Now Rostelecom is increasing in the data center market. So, the company plans to acquire Dataline, it is a deal, which is estimated at $ 500- $ 600 million. If everything goes smoothly, then Rostelecom will receive about 30% of the market, becoming a monopolist.

    Thanks to the “Spring law” and the general direction of state policy on digitalization of the economy, the data center market is actively growing. From 2017 to 2018, the growth of the market volume was 13%. The number of resistant places increased to 38.8 thousand, in percentage terms - by 10.2%. This year, analysts expect even more active growth - by about 15% in money and 17% in strongholds. The market leader is Rostelecom, which owns 5,868 positions. In second place DataLine with 4787 racks.

    After the merger with DataLine, the state operator will become the de facto monopolist in the data center market. Its share will be about 30% with opportunities for further growth. The deal will change the different rules of the game on the cloud providers market, after which it will become more dependent on the actions of just one participant.

    Thanks to the consolidation of data center capacities, the company will be able to make a profit during the implementation of the “Law of Spring”. This can be done by providing data storage services to regional providers. Such activities are planned not only by Rostelecom, but also by other large telecom operators, including Megafon.

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