Vimpelcom thinking about selling 50 thousand towers in Russia and the former Soviet Union

Moscow. October 21. Vimpelcom Ltd. exploring the sale of 50 thousand towers in Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia and Ukraine, informed the Agency Bloomberg with reference to sources.

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, the sources said.

On the issue of Vimpelcom holds consultations with the banks UBS, Merrill Lynch the investment company and TAP Advisors. Representatives of consultants and Vimpelcom declined to comment.

The deal with the tower infrastructure is one of the main specializations of TAP Advisors, this year alone, the company advised on the sale of towers T-Mobile USA TIM Brasil and. Managing Director at TAP Advisors Arno Atamian, being a Manager at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, participated in a number of transactions of VimpelCom and Wind, according to the TAP website.

Earlier, a source in the telecommunications market reported that the Russian company VimpelCom may sell 10-11 thousand towers in Russia and Merrill Lynch has hired a consultant to prepare the transaction. The company does not comment on this information, noting that consider various possibilities of getting rid of non-core assets.

According to sources Bloomberg, Russian towers of Vimpelcom on the transaction can be estimated at $5 billion.

Vimpelcom have already have experience in selling of towers. As reported, in March this year, the Italian subsidiary of the holding company Wind telecommunications (currently in the process of merging with Telecom3 Italia) signed an agreement with Spanish Abertis Telecom Terrestre on the sale of 90% stake in the company Galata, which owns 7 377 thousand cell towers. The amount of the transaction amounted to 693 million Euro.

On the Russian market allocation of 14 thousand towers into a separate company to further explore options for a sale or transfer to the management considers the company “MegaFon”, reported a source close to the company.