Russia's leading long-distance telephone provider Rostelecom is looking at selling its Armenian subsidiary GNC-Alfa, providing services under the Rostelecom Armenia brand, reports local media.
According to Cnews, the fixed-line operator GNC-Alfa will completely come under the control of the Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA) company, which is part of the Tashir holding, which is owned by businessman Samvel Karapetyan, who lives in Russia.
The application for the sale of the operator has already been submitted to the Public Services Development Commission of Armenia (PSRC). At the moment, the deal is being coordinated with the Government of Armenia, the National Security Service, and the Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition, said informed sources.
In 2012 Rostelecom acquired 75% of GNC-Alfa securities. Seven years later, the Russian operator completed a deal on the full purchase of shares for 507 million rubles. Thus, GNC-Alfa became Rostelecom’s first and only foreign asset today. All this time the Armenian company has been operating under the Rostelecom brand.
The Armenian unit's fiber-optic networks with a length of more than 2,500 km cover 80% of the country's territory. The network is also connected to regional backbone networks and an international Internet channel through Georgia and Iran.
Rostelecom has been trying for years to sell its Armenian affiliate. The relevant negotiations took place with Veon Armenia, which operated under the Beeline name and was then part of the Veon group (of which the Russian Vympeklom also is part). The deal was not materialised.