Alfa Group, the Russian conglomerate owned by billionaire Mikhail Fridman, is said to be looking at telecoms deals worth ‘USD1 billion plus’, with Europe its key area of focus. According to the Moscow Times, Alfa Group is flush with cash from last year’s sale of its USD14 billion stake in TNK-BP to state-backed Rosneft. Alexei Reznikovich, the chief executive of Fridman’s Letter One Telecom management firm, told the newspaper: ‘We think that Europe is currently most attractive because of the consolidation processes that are gathering strength there … The time is right [to invest] … We are looking at Russia and southeast Asia, too, but we think that Europe is the most obvious candidate given the sector’s development’. Reznikovich noted that the company is interested in up to five possible acquisition targets, although he declined to name names.
Via its Altimo unit, Alfa currently holds a 56.2% equity share in Amsterdam-based international telecoms group Vimpelcom Ltd. It remains to be seen whether Fridman seeks to integrate any potential acquisitions with Vimpelcom.