21 Nov 2023 13:03

Kazakhtelecom's mobile operator spinoff delayed by another year

ASTANA. Nov 21 (Interfax) - The process of spinning one of the two mobile operators off from the national company Kazakhtelecom should be finalized within the next year, Bagdat Musin, the Minister of Digital Development, Innovation, and Aerospace Industry, said.

"While this process typically takes from one to three years, I believe that it should be completed within the next year due to its priority status at the prime minister's level and the oversight of the head of state," Musin said at a government briefing in Astana.

"As far as I know, Kazakhtelecom's official information is as follows: a due diligence process is being conducted before the acquisition. Prior to any investor purchasing an asset, they conduct an evaluation. Currently, two companies are engaged in the process. Once the due diligence is completed, pricing negotiations will take place, and after the price has been agreed upon, the deal will be made," he said.

The minister chose not to reveal whether Kcell or Tele2, the two mobile operators in question, would be divested from Kazakhtelecom.

"Both are in the midst of the procedure, with one presently in the bidding phase. I believe my comments could influence this process, so I choose not to comment," he said.

Previously, Musin announced that one of the telecom operators would be divested from Kazakhtelecom by the end of 2023.

Kazakhtelecom is the leading communication operator in Kazakhstan holding a dominant position in the domestic market of telecommunication services. The company owns 51% of the shares in the mobile operator Kcell, as well as 100% in Mobile Telecom Service LLP.

As of October 1, 2023, the shareholders of Kazakhtelecom include the state fund Samruk-Kazyna with a majority stake of 80.85%, First Heartland Jusan Bank JSC holding 9.19%, and other shareholders, each with less than a 5% stake, collectively owning 9.77%.