TeliaSonera is to pocket €2.5 billion as it reduces its ownership in Russia-based mobile operator MegaFon.
Principally, the cash will come from its share of a €3.9 billion dividend that MegaFon is paying out to its three owners, who include AF Telecom and Altimo as well as TeliaSonera.
The Sweden-based operator will also profit from the divestment of its indirect stake of 8.2 percent.
As part of the horse-trading, MegaFon announced its intention to go public “as soon as practically possible”.
TeliaSonera, which owned 43.8 percent of the company before this deal, said it would retain a stake of 25 percent plus one share after the IPO.
AF Telecom will become MegaFon’s largest shareholder, while Altimo will exit entirely.
“TeliaSonera has focused on realising the value and increasing the liquidity of our investment in MegaFon, whilst maintaining a long-term strategic ownership in the company,” said CEO Lars Nyberg.
“By reducing our ownership we expect to realise a significant amount of the accrued valued generated by MegaFon since its inception.
“We look forward to continue developing the long-term potential of MegaFon with AF Telecom and the other shareholders.”
MegaFon is the second largest mobile operator in Russia with a market share of 27 percent and 62.8 million subscribers.
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