Rostelecom and Tele2 Russia have completed the second and final stage of a merger to form a new national mobile operator in Russia.
A combination of the country’s fourth- and fifth-largest operators offers more of a challenge to Russia’s three strongest players: MegaFon, VimpelCom and MTS.
The joint venture is present in 64 of the country’s regions and owns a wide range of licences and spectrum, including for 3G and 4G technology.
The combined entity has nearly 39 million mobile connections (GSMA Intelligence, Q2 2014 figures), of which 15 million come from Rostelecom and nearly 24 million from Tele2 Russia.
The second stage of the deal involved Rostelecom transferring 100 per cent of its shares in its subsidiary CJSC RT-Mobile into the new joint venture, dubbed RT-Mobile. As part of this deal, Rostelecom also placed its integrated mobile assets into RT-Mobile as well as having its licences reissued to it.
Rostelecom will have a 45 stake in the new joint venture’s share capital.
The first stage of the deal, which was completed during the first quarter of 2014, involved Rostelecom transferring shares of its standalone mobile subsidiaries, including SkyLink, as well as its start-up regions in Moscow and St. Petersburg, into the joint venture.