Russian mobile phone retailer, Euroset, which claims to sell three out of every ten phones in Russia, is to launch on the London Stock Exchange. The fundraising target is said to be in excess of £620m, putting a value of between £1.8bn and £3.1bn on the company, which operates over 4,300 shops in Russia.
The flotation is reported to be planned for April, with most of the shares on offer said to be those belonging to former Yeltsin advisor-turned-oligarch Alexander Mamut, who holds a 50.1 per cent stake in the retailer. According to Reuters, “sources close to the deal” believe that Mamut is prepared to sell his entire stake if the price is right.
Russia’s third-placed mobile operator, Vimpelcom (which recently merged with Wind Telecom under controversial circumstances) holds the remaining 49.9 per cent stake. The operator has said that “intends to continue to be a shareholder” in Euroset, which doesn’t disclose handset sales but posted a profit of RUB5.6bn (£121m) in 2010.
With Amazon and Google launching smart home initiatives, have the telcos missed out on their chance to cash in on this market?
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