Russian multi-play operator Rostelecom is “ready to consider” upping its stake in Tele2 Russia to give it a controlling share, Reuters reported.
The company already owns a 45 per cent stake in Tele2 Russia following a deal in 2014 to merge Rostelecom’s mobile arm with Tele2’s existing operation in the country.
Recently appointed Rostelecom President Mikhail Oseevsky told Reuters the company was looking to improve its operating and financial performance through “effective operating co-ordination” with Tele2. He added: “If we can do that within the existing shareholder structure – great. If we understand together that we need direct management of Tele2 – obtaining a controlling stake – we will go this way.”
Speaking as the company announced its latest financial results, Oseevsky said although its future relationship with Tele2 was being considered the issue was not a key one for his company.
According to the latest GSMA Intelligence figures, the JV is currently Russia’s fourth largest operator by connections (excluding M2M) with a 15.6 per cent market share, behind Megafon (29.9 per cent), MTS (29.6 per cent) and VimpelCom (23 per cent).
In addition to its mobile venture with Tele2, Rostelecom operates a range of communications services across the country including fixed line, broadband, enterprise networking, and cable TV.
Rostelecom’s annual results showed its combined revenue rose by RUB91 billion ($1.57 billion) through 2016 to RUB297.4 billion.
However, in the fourth quarter revenue decreased 0.8 per cent year-on-year to RUB80.4 billion ($1.38 billion), and net profit fell 13 per cent to RUB3.6 billion.