As the Moscow correspondent of Turkmenistan.ru reports, Mobile TeleSystems OJSC, the largest mobile phone operator in Russia and the CIS, announced Monday that it had acquired a 51% stake in Barash Communications Technologies, Inc. (BCTI), which has a subsidiary operating in Turkmenistan.
According to the company's press release, MTS bought the 51% stake from the company's founders for U.S. $28.05 million, if certain conditions are met. MTS also said it plans to buy the remaining 49% in the company within the next eight months. The price of the remaining stake will depend on the operating and financial performance of the company but will not exceed $26.95 million.
"MTS' entry into the Turkmen market is a significant step in implementing our strategy of geographical expansion into neighboring countries with high growth potential for the mobile industry," Vasily Sidorov, MTS' President and Chief Executive, said yesterday.
Experts note that MTS's purchase in Turkmensitan will be the last significant acquisition by the Russian mobile operators in the CIS markets. In particular, Alexei Yakovotski from UFG said the MTS's deal in Turkmenistan is quite profitable for the Russian company as the financial standing of the republic is "very attractive and it has great potential".