The FINANCIAL — Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut has bought 100% of Russia's largest mobile handset retailer Euroset and then sold 49.9% of its shares to mobile operator VimpelCom, a business daily reported on October 27.
According to Vedomosti, Russia's second largest mobile operator paid more than $200 million for the stake. Overall, VimpelCom will spend a total of $580 million on the purchase and restructuring of Euroset's debts, which stood at $850 million at the end of 2007.
The newspaper said Mamut, VimpelCom, and Euroset's previous owners, Yevgeny Chichvarkin and Timur Artemyev, refused to comment on the deal.
Russia's anti-monopoly service announced in mid-October it had approved VimpelCom's request to purchase 49.9% of Euroset from Mamut's structures.
Under the terms set by the regulator, after the deal with VimpelCom, Euroset, which has over 5,000 retail outlets in Russia and former Soviet republics, must remain a multi-brand chain for three years and offer the products of all mobile operators.