10 Jan 2022 14:30

Tavrin's Kismet acquires 100% of Russia Towers, company to be part of JV based on call tower assets of Megafon, operator Vertical

MOSCOW. Jan 10 (Interfax) - Kismet Capital Group, owned by Ivan Tavrin, has acquired 100% of infrastructure operator Russian Towers, the group said in a statement.

The cost of the deal is not being disclosed. According to the statement, the deal is being financed via Kismet's own funds and a loan from Sberbank .

Russian Towers will become part of the merged company New Towers, which is being created on the basis of another tower company, Vertical, and Megafon's infrastructure asset, First Tower Company.

As a result of the deal, the number of tower sites operated by the JV will exceed 30,000, of which 7,000 belong to Russian Towers.

"The acquisition of Russian Towers is a logical step in our long-term strategy for tower business development. The combined company is the leading independent tower operator in the Russian market, and we aim to continue creating additional value in the tower industry. We also plan to make the merged company public and will be open to entering new geographies," Tavrin was quoted as saying in the statement.

In October 2021, MegaFon and Kismet Capital Group agreed to create an independent federal tower operator based on the assets of First Tower Company and Vertical.

Prior to the acquisition of Russian Towers, the combined company was to own a total portfolio of over 22,000 towers.

Megafon will have a 25% stake in the merged company, Kismet - more than 65%.

Russian Towers Group owns the infrastructure for placing equipment of communication operators. The company was established in 2009, with investors including UFG Private Equity, EBRD, Sumitomo Corporation, IFC, CEECAT Capital and Macquarie Russia & CIS Infrastructure Fund. The latter withdrew from the operator's capital at the end of 2018, and its share was acquired by UFG.