MegaFon, Russia’s second largest cellular operator by subscribers, is preparing to spin off its wireless tower infrastructure into a separate company for a possible future sale, according to a report from Interfax. MegaFon is considering creating a passive infrastructure operating company to manage around 14,000 towers in Russia. Recently Vimpelcom (Beeline), the country’s third largest cellco, was reported to be looking at a similar plan to hive off Russian tower infrastructure, a plan that could involve around 11,000 towers according to Interfax. While there is no precedent for this strategy in Russia, the Vimpelcom group has already carried out such a transaction in Italy, where its Wind Telecomunicazioni subsidiary sold 90% of its newly-formed ‘Galata’ cellular tower unit (managing over 7,300 towers) to Spanish infrastructure firm Abertis for EUR693 million (USD776 million) in March 2015.
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