Sistema Shyam to decide on IPO by year-end

Monday, September 6, 2010

NEW DELHI - Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd (SSTL) Monday said it will decide on an initial public offering (IPO) by the year-end or the beginning of the next year.

“Technical preparation is going on… given the time frame for Russian government, I would expect that by the end of this calendar year we should be able to begin or the beginning of the next calendar year,” said Vsevolod Rozanov, president and chief executive of SSTL.

SSTL is joint venture between Sistema, one of Russia’s largest listed companies with annual revenues of $19 billion, and India’s Shyam Group. It offers mobile voice and data services in the country under the MTS brand in 22 telecom circles.

Sistema currently holds 73.71 percent share in the venture. Shyam Group holds 23.79 percent and the remaining 2.5 percent is with the public.

The company is expecting the Russian government to invest around $620 million in the venture by the end of September or early October. It has already invested over $1.5 billion in India.

“The decision is pending with the Russian government and they will be making a decision shortly ….by September end or early October,” Rozanov added.

During a visit to India this March, Prime Minister Vadimir Putin had announced that the Russian government would invest around $676 million into SSTL.

India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has already approved the investment under the unified access service norm, which allows telecom companies to offer fixed, mobile and data services all under one licence.

The company did not participate in the auction of broadband airwaves in India. According to it, the technology it has opted for — Evolution Data Only (EVDO)– is at par with 3G.

EVDO is a standard for high speed wireless broadband.

Filed under: Economy

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