Russian operator Rostelecom Group acquired a stake in the telecommunications arm of energy conglomerate Lukoil for RUB2 billion ($25.8 million), a move to expand its B2B propositions.
In a statement, Anna Shumeiko, SVP chief of staff of the president of Rostelecom said the acquisition will “strengthen our proposition for corporates” and the tie-up opens opportunities to work with the oil and gas company and other firms in the sector in areas such as IoT.
Under the agreement, Rostelecom will acquire 50.1% of Lukoil-Inform, with the option to increase its stake up to 100% in 2023. The RUB2 billion valuation will depend on the subsidiaries’ financial performance but will not amount to any less.
Lukoil-Inform operates the telecommunication infrastructure for oil and gas exploration, production, processing, marketing and distribution across all LUKOIL’s branches in 53 regions in Russia. The company will also retain existing contractual commitments for Lukoil-Inform over the next five years.
Rostelecom will open a competence centre for digital development to promote its digital services to companies in the energy sector.
Vladimir Kirienko, Rostelecom first VP explained: “The ongoing digital transformation and the growing demand for cloud coming from large industrial companies in the past few years, prompts them to hand over telecommunications divisions to communication operators.
“This trend has proved efficient both commercially and technologically, as companies don’t need to invest in setting up large scale IT infrastructures and can rely on operators’ ecosystems. The collaboration with Lukoil will enable us to optimise and expand the range of services for the entire group, and going forward, build up our own competencies and enhance the digital offering for continuous processing industries”.
Lukoil said in a statement the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary was part of plans to reduce “non-core activities and outsourcing services from professional market players.”