MOSCOW, Russia (June 3, 2004)Golden Telecom, Inc. (NASDAQ: “GLDN”) today announced that it has closed the acquisition of 54% of the shares of SP Buzton, Uzbekistan’s leading alternative telecoms operator. The purchase price of the acquisition is approximately $2.8 million in cash.
Buzton is the only fixed line alternative operator in Uzbekistan. It has a license to provide intercity, international and local telephony, and data service. It has been allocated approximately 10,000 subscriber numbers and has 22 points of presence in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, and 10 in Uzbekistan’s regions.
Buzton earned revenues of approximately $[s1] 3.9 million in 2003, according to the company’s unaudited accounts, stated using Uzbekistani Accounting Standards (UAS). The company estimates that it has about 60% of the foreign corporate and embassy telecoms market in Uzbekistan, with the local incumbent, Uzbektelecom as its main competitor. Uzbektelecom owns 43.52% of Buzton and the remaining shares are held by a private investor.
Alexander Vinogradov, Chief Executive Officer and President of Golden Telecom, Inc., commented: “Expanding our presence to Uzbekistan will enable us to better serve our clients who have operations in this country as well as in our core Russian and Ukrainian markets. We are also acquiring some important new local clients.”
Oleg Malis, Senior Vice-president of Golden Telecom stated: “Buzton is an excellent opportunity for Golden Telecom to extend its network outside its core markets. As the sole alternative operator in the country, it has strong market share amongst foreign companies, embassies and hotels in the capital, and has also attracted the business of major local clients.”
About Golden Telecom (www.goldentelecom.com)
Golden Telecom, Inc., NASDAQ: “GLDN” is a leading facilities-based provider of integrated telecommunications and Internet services in major population centers throughout Russia and other countries of the CIS. The Company offers competitive local exchange carrier services using its overlay network in Moscow, Kiev, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Kaliningrad, and Krasnoyarsk; data and long-distance services using a fiber optic and satellite-based network – including approximately 200 combined access points in Russia and other countries of the CIS; dedicated and dial-up Internet access to businesses and consumers; Internet content through numerous web brands powered by its ROL portal; and mobile services.
This press release presents measures not derived in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (US GAAP). Such measures should not be considered substitutes for any measures derived in accordance with US GAAP, and may also be inconsistent with similar measures presented by other companies.
Statements made in this press release are forward looking and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include our ability to better serve our clients who have operations in Uzbekistan, Russia and Ukraine. It is important to note that such statements involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause outcomes to differ materially from those set forth in these statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the possibility that Buzton’s revenues, when stated according to US GAAP, may be lower than when stated according to UAS, the possibility that Buzton’s customers may choose to migrate to another operator, and that Buzton may not be able to maintain its license under a new owner. Additional information concerning factors that could cause results to differ materially from those in the forward looking statements is contained in the Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission including the Company's quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K filed during 2004, and the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2003.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Anna Chin Ga Pin
tel.: +7-501-797-9300; fax: +7-501-797-9332
tel.: +7-501-797-9300; fax: +7-501-797-9332www.goldentelecom.com