Tele2 sells Russian unit in $3.5bn deal

Nordic carrier Tele2 has agreed to sell its regional Russian mobile operation to banking group VTB for $2.4bn in cash and $1.15bn in debt.

The move comes as Tele2 re-focuses on Europe and Eurasia where it holds its core assets. Positive operational development over the next three years will be driven by predominantly strong mobile development in Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway and Kazakhstan, the company said.

Tele2 Russia had net sales in 2012 of SEK13bn (€1.5bn) and an EBITDA result of SEK4.7bn. The customer base amounted to 22.7 million at the end of 2012 and the operations have approximately 3,500 employees.

Mats Granryd, President and CEO of Tele2, said: “We have built a very successful Russian mobile business of almost 23 million subscribers, skilled employees and strong profitability, through selective acquisitions and organic growth under a strong brand over the last 12 years. This transaction crystalizes that success. Tele2 will carry on investing in and seizing opportunities that surging mobile data usage is creating in our core markets: Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway and Kazakhstan.”

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