Russian private lender Bank Rossiya is reportedly looking to acquire a 50% stake of operator Tele2 Russia.
The bank has applied to the country’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) via two offshore subsidiary companies, Invinte and ABR Investments.
The FAS has only confirmed that two companies have applied, declining to name them or whether they represent another entity. Tele2’s Russian operation is currently owned by the state bank VTB.
The $3.55 billion acquisition only closed in April this year, and VTB has since expressed its intent to sell equity in Tele2. Bank Rossiya has long been mooted as a potential buyer, with local speculation claiming that it will then sell its stake on to fixed-line provider Rostelecom. VTB has dismissed this as unlikely.
Bank Rossiya may acquire the stake in the next two weeks, but VTB has stated that it will remain a large minority shareholder, retaining at least 20% of Tele2 Russia.