Deutsche Bank has partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to acquire a 2.7% stake in the Russian fixed-line operator Rostelecom for RUB7.7 billion ($240 million).
Rostelecom stated that the funds “will be directed towards both the company’s future development and to strengthening its market position”. The operator aims to bolster its presence in the country’s mobile market – it currently has 13.8 mobile million subscribers, putting it in fifth place.
Recently two companies believed to represent private lender Bank Rossiya acquired a stake in fourth-placed Tele2 Russia – in line with speculation that the bank would do this in order to then sell the stake on to Rostelecom so that it might consolidate its position in the market. Tele2’s owner VTB has dismissed the possibility of such a takeover.
The terms of the investment allow Rostelecom to benefit if its share prices increase while protecting the investors if share prices fall. The Russian government currently holds a majority stake in Rostelecom (55%) and is looking to sell off by 2016.