MegaFon is thinking about selling their cell towers

Moscow. October 29. JSC “Megaphone” prepares the allocation of cellular towers into a separate company, does not exclude their further sale.

“We are seriously considering this opportunity for themselves”, – told reporters the General Director of the operator Ivan Tavrin, answering the question about prospects of extraction and sale of towers.

Now “MegaFon” is working on the allocation of passive infrastructure into a separate company. MegaFon has around 14 thousand towers, the company intends to make an inventory of the infrastructure, pick the management to manage the new company. Is the process “will definitely take more than one quarter,” said Tavrin.

He did not say when the question of allocation of the company will be considered by the Board of Directors of the company. “Daughter” will be in the perimeter of the parent company and shareholders ‘ meeting will be held when it’s ready specific transaction. One should not concentrate on a formal decision of the Board of Directors, its members support the decision of management on the allocation of infrastructure in a separate “daughter,” said Tavrin.

“The ownership of the infrastructure is stable and high margin business, the tower companies around the world have a margin of 60-70 per cent,” he said. “Multiples of such companies is higher than that of the mobile operators, but to talk about the multipliers in the case of Russian companies the early, while there was no precedent (the selection of towers),” said Tavrin.

The sale of the towers and thinks of Vimpelcom Ltd., already has made such a deal in Italy. A source on the telecommunications market reported that the company may sell 10-11 thousand towers in Russia and Merrill Lynch has hired a consultant to prepare the transaction. Recently, the Agency Bloomberg with reference to sources reported that Vimpelcom Ltd. may also sell towers in Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia and Ukraine, only 50 thousand of towers with regard to Russia. Tower holding can be provided in a separate infrastructure company with an industrial or financial partner. In respect of the company also considered the possibility of an IPO. According to sources Bloomberg, towers of Vimpelcom for the transaction can be estimated at $5 billion.