Major Russian cable deal on horizon
Published: 11.13 UTC, January 11, 2011 by Chris Dziadul

A major change in the ownership structure of Russia’s largest cable operator appears to be drawing nearer.

Kommersant reports that the board of directors of Rostelecom will meet at the end of this month to discuss the acquisition of a 21.8% stake in National Telecommunications (NTK). However, two other subsidiaries of Svyazinvest – Uralsvyazinform and North West Telecom – are also interested in each acquiring a 25% stake in National Telecommunications.

The latter’s total value is estimated to be $1.324 billion (€1.025 million), and a 71.8% stake believed to be worth $950 million.

NTK, which lists NMG (51.8%) and VTB (11.6%) as its main shareholders, wholly owns NKS, Russia’s leading cable operator.

NKS ended 2010 with an active subscriber base of 4.95 million, with interests in Moscow/Moscow region, St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kurgan and Novosibirsk.

Acquiring NKS would give Svyazinvest and its subsidiaries access to the lucrative Moscow market, where they have also been targeting Akado for a number of months.