MTS set to shelve tower sale amid Russia’s economic woes

MTS set to shelve tower sale amid Russia’s economic woes

Russian mobile market leader MTS has indefinitely postponed the planned sale of its tower assets.

The operator’s CEO Vyacheslav Nikolaev first raised the prospect of a tower sale in November 2021, and local outlet Kommersant reported this week that MTS was looking to finalise an agreement in the first half of 2022. However, the deteriorating economic environment caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prevented interested parties from making the acquisition.

In a statement, MTS said: “We are continuing to look at different scenarios, we see interest in the asset and are in contact with potential investors.” According to Kommersant, investment group Kismet Capital - which recently acquired towerco Russian Towers - and tower firm Service-Telecom are potential buyers.

Reuters quoted a Service-Telecom representative as saying: “In this process we are taking into account the current macroeconomic conditions, which at the moment are impacting the dynamics and subject of talks.” The company last year agreed to acquire Veon’s tower portfolio for US$970 million.

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