2 Oct 2023 15:55

Kyrgyzstan extends application period for potential buyers of 100% of Alfa Telecom

BISHKEK. Oct 2 (Interfax) - The auction for the sale of Alfa Telecom (branded as Mega), one of Kyrgyzstan's largest cellular operators, which was scheduled for October 2, has been postponed until October 11, the Republic's State Agency for State Property Management said in a statement.

As of September 29 (the last working day before the auction), not a single application for participation in the auction had been received. As a result, the interdepartmental commission on privatization, based on the law on the privatization of state property, decided to extend the deadline for accepting applications.

Investors are being offered 100% of the mobile operator's shares at a starting price of 14.6 billion som ($164.6 million at the current exchange rate).

Alfa Telecom provides cellular communication and data services in 2G, 3G and 4G standards. In addition, the company provides services for the design, construction, and installation of networks, systems and telecommunication devices. It is a national fiscal data operator and provides mobile financial services (branded MegaPay). The subscriber base is 2.548 million subscribers.

Alfa Telecom CJSC is included in the state privatization program for 2023-2025.

Previously, the owner of Alfa Telecom, created in June 2009, was one of the close associates of the son of former President of Kyrgyzstan Maxim Bakiev, Alexey Eliseev. After the change of power in the republic in the spring of 2010, the interim government of Kyrgyzstan nationalized 49% of the shares of the company; subsequently, by a court decision, another 51% of the shares became the property of the state. The Kyrgyz government has repeatedly put up 100% of the shares of the mobile operator for auction, but has never found a buyer.

The official exchange rate as of October 2 is 88.71 som/$1.