Barclays Capital is working with Vimpelcom on an outsourcing deal for the Moscow components of its mobile tower business. According to TMT Finance Barclays is understood to be arranging asset-backed financing for the towers. A banker familiar with the talks admitted: ‘A deal such as this will be quite complicated, so it’s likely to take long time to reach fruition’.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in September 2012 Vimpelcom and fellow cellco Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) entered discussions over a potential tower sharing joint venture in a bid to cut costs. Elsewhere, Russian business daily Vedomosti reported that the mooted tower company could be set up by MTS, Vimpelcom, Rostelecom and the state-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). The fund would bring cash to the table and retain an 85% stake in the joint venture. The operators, meanwhile, would retain a combined 15% stake in exchange for 700 towers apiece, and the joint venture would then acquire a further 14,800 towers for around USD1 billion.