Moscow, Russia – March 13, 2009 – Sistema (LSE: SSA), the largest diversified public corporation in Russia and the CIS, which manages fast growing companies operating in the telecommunications, consumer services sectors and technology industries, today announced that it has signed an agreement with CJSC Synterra Group to sell its 43.4% stake (50% of voting shares) in MTT. In addition, Synterra Group will assume MTT’s intercompany debt obligations to Sistema. The deal is expected to be reached for a total cash consideration of approximately US$ 54 million. The completion of the deal is contingent upon the fulfillment of a number of conditions.
A number of new telecom players have recently emerged on the Russian domestic and international long-distance telecommunications market. Presently, other mobile and fixed-line operators, including Sistema’s key telecom businesses, MTS and Comstar-UTS, are actively building their own long-distance networks. The sale of MTT will reduce the level of competition among Sistema Group companies and decrease the overall debt.
Leonid Melamed, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “The sale of 50% stake in MTT is in line with our stated strategy to optimize the portfolio of telecommunication businesses. This transaction is a logical step towards eliminating the duplication of services within our portfolio of companies.”