Moscow, Russia - December 22, 2005 - Sistema (LSE: SSA), the largest private sector consumer services company in Russia and the CIS, announced today that its fixed-line telecommunications provider subsidiary Comstar UTS has acquired 100% stakes in Conversiya-Svyaz and Overta - two leading alternative fixed-line operators in the Saratov Region.
Both Conversiya-Svyaz and Overta are leading regional providers with extensive networks and amongst the largest number capacities in the region. The services provided by the companies are highly complementary. Conversiya-Svyaz focuses on the provision of telecommunications services through its fibre-optic network, while Overta is the leading data transmission and internet provider, operating a Gigabit Ethernet backbone. The companies' consolidated revenues for 2004 amounted to US$8.6 million with EBITDA margin of approximately 25%.
This is the third regional acquisition executed by Comstar UTS in the second half of 2005 in line with the company's regional expansion strategy. It is aimed at strengthening Comstar UTS' position in the highly attractive Volga region, where it already has a branch operating in the city of Tol'yati.
Semen Rabovsky, CEO of Comstar UTS, commented on the acquisitions: "We are very excited about being able to integrate these dynamic companies into the network of Comstar UTS. Comstar UTS has increased its presence in the region through these acquisitions and will be able to capture new market segments through the development of the Company's network and the provision of multi-service products, such as triple play."