Alfa to go out CIS

Publié le par Jean Arnal


The Russian holding group Alfa and its telecom arm Altimo have made clear that they are seeking telecom partners to expand operations beyond the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The followed strategy is triple:

        • enter more lucrative markets,

        • gained back some international credibility after months of rocambolesque conflicts with Telenor and Teliasonera

        • learn from strong international partners to address foreign markets.

Up to now, Altimo had very little experience with foreign markets, and where it has co-ownership, it is a long history of conflicts and treacherous attacks.

As a result of this strategy, however, Altimo set up an international advisory board and tried finding partnership or creating JVs with tier 1 Western Europe operators (i.e. Vodafone, FT, DT, ). This was a total failure, such a deal being of little appeal to those giants and the potential partner having a sulphureous reputation. So Altimo has now little choice but to search in tier 2 WE operators. The surprise comes when Altimo asked Teliasonera and Telenor for partnership. Both companies are in open conflict with Altimo for months respectively in Turkey and Russia for Teliasonera and in Russia and Ukraine for Telenor, and have undertaken legal actions. So a deal will not be easy to reach in this tense context. Altimo has proposed Telenor a $4bn asset swap between Altimo' s 43% stake in Kyivstar and Telenor' s 26.6% stake in Vimpelcom. The deal, however, appears more like a separation between Altimo and Telenor, rather than any sort of partnership. Any deal with Teliasonera will need first to solve the pending control of Turkcell, and there Altimo has good chance to loose the control. So we do not understand where Altimo has any benefit in dealing with Teliasonera and /or Telenor, except to regain some international credibility.

More recently, Alfa has been busy in south-east Asia, opening office in Vietnam, and committing to invest some $2bn in Indonesia.


Current co-ownership


ALFA/ Altimo

Telenor

Teliasonera

Turkcell

13.2%


37.3%

Megafon

25.1%


34%

Vimpelcom

35.8%

26.6%


Kyivstar

43.5%

56.5%



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