TeliaSonera to increase presence in Kazakhstan

Nordic operator TeliaSonera has announced that it is to increase its ownership in GSM Kazakhstan, which operates under the brand Kcell, and lead an IPO for the carrier in 2012. Kcell holds first place in the central Asian market, with 10.1 million customers at the end of 3Q11, according to Informa’s WCIS Plus service.

The deal will see TeliaSonera acquire 49 per cent of Kcell from part owner Kazakhtelecom, for $1.519bn. The remaining 51 per cent of the carrier is currently owned by Fintur Holdings, a joint venture between TeliaSonera (58.55 per cent) and Turkcell (41.45 per cent).

TeliaSonera said that it has agreed, subject to certain conditions, to sell 25 per cent of Kcell in an IPO at some stage in 2012. When both transactions have completed, TeliaSonera’s effective stake in Kcell will be 61.74 per cent.

“This agreement is another step in the execution of our strategy of increasing ownership in core holdings. Kcell is a clear market leader in Kazakhstan, the largest market in Central Asia, and has shown remarkable growth over the years. The fact that part of the company will be sold in an IPO will make it even more attractive”, said Tero Kivisaari, President, TeliaSonera Eurasia.

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