The American company Golden Telecom has reached an agreement to buy Comincom and Combellga, affiliated companies of Norwegian Telenor. As a Rosbalt correspondent was informed by the US company, Golden Telecom will buy a 100% stake in Comincom, including its subsidiary Combellga (the third largest telecommunications provider in Russia) in return for a 19.5% stake in Golden Telecom.
As part of the deal the new leading shareholders of Golden Telecom signed a shareholding agreement as well as an agreement of non-intervention, which will take effect after this deal has been completed. The leading shareholders of Golden Telecom will now be Alfa Telecom, Telenor, Rostelecom and Capital International Global Emerging Markets Private Equity Fund
The press spokesman said the deal still has to be confirmed by the regulating authorities in the US and Russia. Completion of the deal will also depend on the two sides' agreement about their financial and economic activity and the agreement will also need the approval of Golden Telecom shareholders and the Telenor executive committee. It is expected that the deal will be completed by the end of this year.
The company believes that 'by joining its own resources with those of Comincom and Combellga Golden Telecom will become one of the leaders in the Russian telecommunications market.'
Golden Telecom is an independent provider of integrated telecommunications and internet services in the largest cities of Russia and other CIS countries. Net profit over the first six months of 2003 came to USD 24.7 million according to US GAAP financial standards.
Comincom is one of the leading Russian telecommunications companies. Its network covers 20 regions of Russia. The company was formed in 1990 by the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Communications in order to improve and increase the telecommunication services available for foreign embassies and foreign companies operating in the former Soviet Union. The company owns shares in Combellga, World Trade Telecom, Zenit-Telecom, Nakhodka-Telecom and Sakhalin-Telecom.