16 Mar 2010 11:46

TransTelecom borrows 3 bln rubles at 10%-17%

MOSCOW. March 16 (Interfax) - CJSC TransTelecom borrowed almost 3 billion rubles in loans at between 10% and 17% p.a. in H2 2009.

Russian Railways (RZD) , which owns the telco, said in a report that UniCredit had lent 2.4 billion rubles and that Sviaz-Bank had lent $17.5 million (547 million rubles as of June 30, 2009). The loans were post-balance sheet events, meaning they were issued after the end of H1 2009. They are repayable in one to three years.

Russia's Kommersant newspaper said last week that RZD had sent proposals to investment banks regarding the sale of shares in TransTelecom in an IPO or by private subscription.

TransTelecom has figured on a list of companies in which RZD could sell stakes in order to finance its investments.

RZD chief Vladimir Yakunin said at the end of February that the company had asked the Russian Federal Property Agency to look at plans to sell shares in up to 30 subsidiaries in 2010-2012.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the end of February publicly backed plans to fund RZD's investments with share sale in the rail monopoly's subsidiaries.

One of Kommersant's sources said TransTelecom might be sold to a strategic investor. The Sistema holding expressed an interest in TransTelecom less than a month ago and the parties held consultations with the RZD-owned KIT Finance investment bank, but no decisions were reached, the paper said.

CJSC TransTelecom provides services to the corporate sector and households besides RZD itself. It has more than 53,000 kilometers of fiber-optic line with speed of up to 190 Gbit/second. Total sales revenue was 11.8 billion rubles, including 9.98 billion rubles from communications, in H1 2009.