3 Nov 2021 15:14

Rostelecom selling Armenian subsidiary GNC-Alfa

MOSCOW/YEREVAN. Nov 3 (Interfax) - Rostelecom has put Armenian telecom provider GNC-Alfa up for sale, the Russian national provider told Interfax.

The fact that GNC-Alfa has been offered for sale was reported earlier by the media, citing Armenia's Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC).

"The asset has been put up for sale. The company reported the fact that it was considering the possibility of selling the Armenian subsidiary a few years ago," Rostelecom said.

Rostelecom head Mikhail Oseyevsky said back at the beginning of 2018 that GNC-Alfa might be sold. He said "inter-country synergy is not obvious," so Rostelecom was thinking about how to organize its operations in Armenia more efficiently.

The likely buyer of GNC-Alfa will be Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA), the country's electricity distribution monopoly and a division of Russian-Armenian tycoon Samvel Karapetyan's Tashir Group.

The PSRC "will discuss the deal with the relevant authorities," after which "a decision will be made within the period established by law on whether the deal will take place or not," commission press secretary Liana Azizyan told Armenian state news agency Armenpress.

"The potential buyer is Electric Networks of Armenia, which wants to acquire the shares through Molitro Holdings Limited," Azizyan said.

Rostelecom consolidated 100% of GNC-Alfa in 2019, after buying 25.02% of shares from minority shareholders for 507 million rubles. The company was exercising an option it acquired when it bought 75% of GNC-Alfa in 2012 for $22.5 million.

GNC-Alfa is one of the leading telecom providers in Armenia, providing broadband Internet, smart IP-TV and fixed-line telephony services to households and corporate customers. After Rostelecom became a shareholder, GNC-Alfa rolled out GPON technology in a number of cities.