Russia’s MegaFon confirmed that it has closed its purchase of a majority holding in Uzbekistan’s Ucell.
In February 2021, MegaFon and its parent USM Telecom announced that they would acquire a controlling stake in Uzbekistan’s market leader via a digital solutions joint venture known as Digital Holding – a 51:49 split between their Digital Invest unit and Uzbekistan’s Agency for State Assets Management (ASAM).
TeleGeography reports that MegaFon and USM will invest US$100 million into Digital Holding, which consists of USM’s Uzbek assets CRPT Turon and ICS Holding Uzbekistan along with 100% of Ucell’s authorised capital, transferred by ASAM.
The new joint venture will seek to expand and upgrade infrastructure in Uzbekistan as well as developing advanced services and systems. Ucell’s former CEO Vladimir Kravchenko has been appointed chief of Digital Holding. His erstwhile role will be filled by Andrey Shishkovsky, who was previously MegaFon Russia’s Regional Development Director.
Olimjon Umarov, Advisor to the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, said: “The digital economy has been identified as the main driver of economic growth, therefore, it is necessary to improve the quality of mobile communications and the internet, to accelerate the development of e-commerce systems, digital services and software products.”