15 Jan 2024 18:26

Deal to sell MTS Armenia to Cyprus investor is valid, not in doubt - company

YEREVAN. Jan 15 (Interfax) - The deal to sell 100% of MTS Armenia, a subsidiary of Russian telco MTS operating under the Viva-MTS brand, to Cyprus-based Fedilco Group Limited, has been approved by the Public Services Regulatory Commission of Armenia (PSRC), and nothing is threatening to undermine it, MTS Armenia said in a statement.

The PSRC said on Monday that it intended to discuss its decision to clear MTS Armenia to complete the transaction to sell 100% of the company's shares. The draft decision notes that Armenia's High-Tech Industry Ministry objected to the transaction on December 27, 2023 "out of government interests."

MTS Armenia said that the draft decision refusing the sale related to the company's previous request submitted in August 2023.

"The company at the time asked the PSRC for clearance to enter into a transaction for the indirect shareholder of the company, MTS to acquire 100% of the shares of MTS Armenia from the direct shareholder, Aramayo Investments Limited (Cyprus). As a result of this transaction, the chain of shareholders would have been shortened, which would ensure more effective interaction and corporate governance between MTS Armenia and MTS, which exercises real control over MTS Armenia," the company said.

Essentially, transfer ownership of the shares would be an intra-group change, as a result of which MTS Armenia would continue to be a member of the MTS group and would continue to be controlled by MTS.

"But, as it emerged from the agenda of the PSRC meeting on January 17, consent to that transaction will be refused," the statement said.

MTS Armenia said that transaction had nothing to do with the request submitted to the PSRC in November 2023 for clearance for the acquisition of 100% of MTS Armenia by Fedilco Group Limited from the sole shareholder of MTS Armenia, which is Aramayo Investments Limited.

This request was granted on November 15, 2023, MTS Armenia said.