OJSC Middle-Volga Interregional Association of Radio/Telecommunication Systems (SMARTS) informed Tele2 Russia of its readiness to sell assets in a number of regions, the Vedomosti informed referring to sources related to the shareholders of both companies.
SMARTS is transferring the licenses to its regional branches converting them into subsidiaries further exposed for sale.
Earlier, SMARTS sold its Kazan-based asset to OJSC Tattelecom. Last year, SMARTS divested 3 more branches in the Republic of Bashkortostan, Ivanovo and Volgograd regions. Two more branches are in the pipeline, said Gennady Kiryushin, the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors at SMARTS, without naming the regions.
It will be recalled that Tele2 communicated its wish to purchase 97% of the company for $390 million (including the debt amounting to $100 million) to SMARTS shareholders in May 2011 provided that SMARTS settled its legal issues. The court is currently entertaining the lawsuit brought against SMARTS by JSFC Sistema. As long as this dispute is not settled, there is no point in discussing any transaction with SMARTS assets, a source close to Tele2 pointed out. The management team has not negotiated the sale of business with Tele2 Russia lately, Alexander Kurochkin, CEO of SMARTS, commented.
SMARTS is a holding whose parent company (OJSC SMARTS, tax number: 6311008571) provides GSM-900/1800 mobile communication services in Samara, Saratov, Ulyanovsk, Astrakhan, Volgograd, Penza, Yaroslavl and Ivanovo regions, Bashkortostan, Kalmykia, Mari El, Tatarstan, Mordovia and Chuvashia. SMARTS Group owns 100% of the shares in OJSC SMARTS, CJSC SMARTS-Volgograd, CJSC SMARTS-Ivanovo, CJSC SMARTS-Kazan, CJSC SMARTS-Ufa and exercises control over CJSC Astrakhan GSM, CJSC Penza-GSM, CJSC Shupashkar-GSM, CJSC Yaroslavl-GSM.
The authorized capital of the parent company (RUB 600 million) is represented by 4 thousand common shares at par value of RUB 150 thousand each. Its major shareholders are: physical persons (47.4%), legal entities (52.6%).
According to the information and retrieval system DataCapital, RAS net loss of OJSC SMARTS for 2012 was RUB 167.454 million against a net profit of RUB 751.704 million for 2011. Revenue decreased by 15.7% to RUB 1.745 billion from RUB 2.071 billion.
Tele2 is an alternative European telecommunication company providing mobile and fixed-line telephony services, broadband Internet and cable TV services to over 38 million subscribers in 11 countries.
In Russia, the company has been active since 2003. It is licensed for providing mobile communication services in 43 regions of Russia. Tele2 Russia Holdings AB belongs to Airport Alliance B.V. (located in the Netherlands, being part of the VTB Bank group). Operating revenue of Tele2 Russia for Q2 2013 grew by 12% to RUB 16.4 billion from RUB 14.6 billion for the same period in 2012. EBITDA increased by 11% to RUB 5.9 billion from RUB 5.4 billion, EBITDA margin decreased to 36.3% from 36.6%. Tele2 Russia's subscriber base exceeds 23 million.