The state will climb deeper into Tele2

It can collect a controlling stake in Tele2 from Rostelecom.
Rostelecom and shareholders of T2 RTC Holding (Tele2) are negotiating to increase the share of the state operator in the cellular company to control, told Vedomosti two people who are familiar with the managers of Rostelecom, a person close to Rostelecom shareholders, and Also the source in the management of one partner of the cellular operator and the co-owner of another of its partners.

The negotiations on Rostelecom and Rosimushchestvo about increasing the stake in Rostelecom in Tele2 before the control and possible payment of this package by quasi-treasury shares are known to the federal official.

A person who knows this from one of the shareholders of Tele2, says that Rostelecom plans to bring the stake in Tele2 to a control or higher, now there are discussions. Part of the shares of "Rostelecom" can sell VTB, which package, he did not say.

According to two interlocutors of Vedomosti, negotiations have been under way at least since the beginning of the summer. Two more do not rule out that the deal may be closed in the fall.

Interlocutors "Vedomosti" do not call the assessment of Tele2, which appears in the negotiations. Two people who are familiar with the managers of Rostelecom, argue that the deal may be cash-strapped.

Slightly more than 5% of Tele2 shares, which are lacking prior to control, can be paid by Rostelecom with its quasi-treasury shares owned by its "daughter" Mobitel. It owns 12.01% of Rostelecom's authorized capital (10.49% of common shares and 30.79% of preferred shares). The market value of this package yesterday was just under 22 billion rubles.

So far, Rosimushchestvo has not received proposals and materials that justify the deal, a representative of the agency said.

Rostelecom already owns 45% of Tele2. The rest belongs to Tele2 Russia Holding AB, in which VTB has 50%, Invintel B.V. Alexei Mordashov - 40% and 10% belongs to the bank "Russia" Yuri Kovalchuk.

In fact, Rostelecom resumed negotiations to purchase control in Tele2. Its owners are discussing the transition of the mobile operator under the control of the state operator, reported in late March 2017 the first deputy chairman of the board of VTB Yuri Soloviev. The State Bank does not consider the option of withdrawing from the capital of Tele2, but "is conducting discussions" about changing the stake, he said then.

Later, the general director of Rostelecom Mikhail Oseevsky said that the operator consults with officials about the directive for the purchase of Tele2. However, in March of this year Oseevsky said that Rostelecom does not negotiate to increase its stake in Tele2. Nor does VTB lead them, the representative of the group said at the time. The parties did not disclose the reasons for the failure of the talks.

Perhaps this is due to the improvement in Tele2 indicators - it is possible that investors decided to postpone and exit the business with greater profit, Denis Kuskov, Telecom Daily Director General believes.

Last year, Solovyov explained the need to change the controlling shareholder in the need for the synergy of mobile and fixed business, which already exists among competitors from the Big Three cell phone. He said that to compete with the big three Tele2 should just cross-product offer, which will reduce the costs of operators.

The presence of a mobile operator in a fixed operator is becoming a critically important mobile advantage, Iskratelecom general director Alkhaz Mirzabekov is sure. Already, converged packages of wired and mobile services are in demand, which are offered, for example, by VimpelCom and MGTS, he emphasizes. They are convenient to use, explains Mirzabekov, because you can pay one operator on a single account. It is no accident that Rostelecom is already working on the Tele2 network as a virtual cellular operator, he recalls. And in the perspective of several years as the fifth generation of cellular communication spreads and the high-speed mobile Internet, wired access is likely to be interesting only as an additional service to the mobile, Mirzabekov predicts.

Already, operators that have both mobile and fixed communication can offer attractive convergent tariffs, Kuskov agrees. In addition, the combined "Rostelecom" and Tele2 will be able to successfully develop the fifth generation of communications, he points out.

According to the forecast of Sova Capital analyst Alexander Vengranovich, Tele2's revenue for 2018 may reach 132 billion rubles, profit before taxes and interest (EBITDA) - 38 billion rubles. The company's debt at the end of the year will drop to 102 billion rubles. According to him, the mobile operator can be estimated at about 4-year EBITDA - it is now estimated, for example, on the MTS exchange. A more optimistic estimate, taking into account the premium for control, is 5 EBITDA, Vengranovic believes. That is all Tele2 can be estimated at 50-88 billion rubles. - respectively, a 5% stake, which will allow Rostelecom to gain control of the operator, will cost 2.5-4.4 billion rubles, he said. In his opinion, a 5% stake in Tele2 could cost as much as 1.4-2.5% of Rostelecom's common shares or 20.3-35.8% of preferred shares.