Sistema looks to consolidate

By Chris Dziadul | May 25, 2009

MTS has applied to the Russian anti-monopoly office (FAS) to buy up to 100% of Comstar-UTS, whose interests include the country’s leading IPTV operation.

Given that both companies are owned by Sistema, the move would effectively amount to a merger.
Kommersant reports that the transaction is likely to be handled by JP Morgan and that it would probably similar in nature to the one in February 2008, when VimpelCom, the country’s second largest mobile operator, acquired Golden Telecom.

MTS, Russia’s leading mobile company, has also just reported a Q1 loss of $57.7 million (€41.2 million), contrasting sharply with a profit of $610 million in the corresponding period last year.