Rus News Journal

Metromedia has left Russia

In the Russian market of a fixed-line telephony not privatisation transaction largest in its history is concluded. American Metromedia International Group (MIG) has sold for $212 million 71 % of actions of Joint-Stock Company Peterstar - one of the largest Russian alternative operators. To one of buyers became Luxembourg First National Holding, owning 59 % of actions of Petersburg Open Society telekominvest . According to experts, transition Peterstara under control of the Petersburg signalmen can mean repartition of the Russian market business - communications. Buyers of the company have already declared plans of creation of the alternative operator comparable on scales with the largest participants of the market business - a telephony.
Joint-Stock Company Peterstar - the largest alternative operator of St.-Petersburg: the company supervises 70 % of the market business - a telephony in a city. The operator serves about 100 thousand telephone lines. For nine months 2004 the company gain on US GAAP has made $56,5 million Peterstaru 90 % of actions of Open Society " belong; the Pskov city telephone system 100 % of Open Society Pskovinterkom 100 % of the Murmansk operator of Open Society ADM - Murmansk and 100 % of the Kaliningrad alternative operator of Joint-Stock Company a Telecom the Western shipping company .

Yesterday MIG has informed that the agreement on sale of 71 % of actions Peterstara it is reached with Luxembourg First National Holding (FNH) and the Swiss company Emergent Telecom Ventures S. A. Last Russian active Metromedia has sold for $212 million, having promised to concentrate efforts to development of the cellular business in Georgia.

to receive comments of sellers of a controlling interest Peterstara yesterday it was not possible. New owners are happy with purchase and declare plans of scale expansion for the Russian market business - the communications which volume makes about $1,7 mlrd in a year. our purpose - to construct the large alternative operator, - partner Emergent Telecom of Mohamed Amersi has declared yesterday. - I admire successes ` the Alpha - groups ` on development ` Golden a Telecom ` (the alternative operator largest in Russia. - ) also I plan to create the company similar to it structurally. I hope that for it there will be a place in the market .

Analysts notice that sale Peterstara became the largest transaction for all history of the Russian market of a fixed-line telephony - anybody never paid so much for the Russian alternative operator. It is known that for a control establishment over this company all largest telecommunication groups of Russia, including " struggled; Golden a Telecom and AFK System - Representatives of corporation repeatedly told about intention to develop in Petersburg fixed-line telephony business. Yesterday and in Golden a Telecom and in the company System - a TV set have refrained from comments concerning sale Peterstara .

As a result business - communications passes one of the most attractive actives under control of so-called group of the Petersburg signalmen. To holding telekominvest 29 % ", in particular, belong; Peterstara and 31 % of the cellular operator the Megaphone . Luxembourg FNH 59 % ", in turn, own; telekominvesta .

Participants of the market notice that to the sale of 71 % of actions declared yesterday Peterstara serious disagreements of the American shareholder and the Petersburg signalmen preceded, aspiring to increase a share in the company. In particular, in 2001 the intracity traffic of all cellular operators of Petersburg which earlier served Peterstar has been transferred the absolute affiliated operator telekominvesta Petersburg transit by a TV set . As a result the company gain in 2001 has decreased on 30 %, to $47 million

In answer Metromedia has replaced company management with a top - the managers who are not belonging to the Petersburg group of signalmen. The general director Peterstara there was Victor Koresh before heading the Petersburg office of the operator Sovintel . The new command of managers has begun to master actively new directions of business to compensate losses of the cellular traffic. In parallel the company increased the actives on Severo - the West, buying up regional communications service providers. Yesterday management Peterstara has met news about change of the property of the company it is underlined easy. I consider that for company business this positive event. Clear of debts shareholders who can go on long-term investments to business ` Peterstara ` " will come; - the general director of the company Victor Koresh has declared.

according to analysts, creation on base Peterstara one of the operators largest in Russia business - a telephony it is quite real for new shareholders Peterstara . Certainly, the basic Moscow and regional operators by the present moment already have passed under control of the largest participants of the market, affilirovannyh with AFK ` System ` and ` the Alpha - groups `, - Oleg Shenker from IK ` tells Finam `. - However representatives of the Petersburg group of signalmen now have influence in ` Svyazinvest ` and the Ministry of Communications. I do not exclude that at least the part of actives of holding remains in their hands and after privatisation. And if besides to consider possibility to involve an administrative resource association ` Peterstara ` with these actives can lead to occurrence of the large player .

, DMITRY - ZAHAROV