The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine has approved the takeover of the country’s dominant PSTN operator and sole W-CDMA mobile network owner Ukrtelecom by domestic conglomerate SCM, itself owned by Ukraine’s richest man Rinat Akhmetov, which already controls smaller telco Vega and part-owns third-placed GSM cellco Astelit (Life:)). The deal – agreed with Austrian-based seller Epic in June – can now be completed after the Committee granted SCM Financial Overseas Ltd authorisation to purchase 100% of the shares in holding company UA Telecominvest Ltd (Cyprus), which controlled 92.7% of Ukrtelecom via wholly-owned local holding vehicle Epic Services Ukraine (ESU), reports Capital.ua, citing the antitrust agency’s press department. 5% of Ukrtelecom’s shares are owned by management and 2.14% by employees, while a 0.07% stake is listed on the local stock exchange; ESU acquired its controlling stake for UAH10.575 billion (USD1.315 billion) plus a minimum investment pledge of UAH450 million in March 2011, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, while no purchase price has been released for the SCM-Epic transaction.
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