Owners of the small Russian carriers “Naukasvyaz”, “Norilsk Telecom”, “Gars Telecom”, “Stack Telecom”, “Multima” and other regional companies consider the opportunities for alliances, they say in the joint press-release. They can join the united holding company or a syndicate, and after that even unite their networks and move to a single share.
It is referred to the union of regional carriers, successfully working with corporate or municipal clients, — Michael Alekseev, Consulting and Managing director at “AC&M Consulting”, explains. He says that this isn’t about any vertical integration to the single company. The carriers just want to coordinate their work and to exclude inefficient competition between their companies. According to his data, there are more than 30 established carriers in Russia: their businesses show the steady growth, their shareholders are represented by respectable Russian and foreign investment funds, and they operate under the international standards.
Technically, all carriers are ready to enter the exchange, but they are restricted by the size of their businesses — the year revenue of 1-2 billion rubles, Mikhail Khaustov, General Director at “Norilsk Telecom” is cited. Up to him, the shareholders can’t leave the business, because M&A mechanisms do not work on the telecommunications market. This happens due to the lack of the buyers on the telecommunication market: BIG3 carriers (“MTS”, “Vimpelcom” and “Megafon”) plus “Rostelecom”, — Pavel Gorenkov, CEO at “Gars Telecom” considers. He says, these companies are not ready to pay for the carriers more than they cost on the exchanges (regarding the capitalization rate to the EBITDA), and their shares have not been rising in price for the latest times, Pavel Gorenkov assures.
The carriers hope, the alliance will help them to speed up the business growth and minimize the risks related to the companies’ sizes, thus enlarging the business volumes and improving the financial results. However, the negotiations will continue till the end of May. If they end successfully, the revenue of the new structure may outperform 8 billion rubles, the negotiators believe. For example, it will be possible to use the best solutions of other companies, saving on the investing to new products development, Pavel Minaev, General Director of Krasnoyarsk “Multima” explains.
Vadim Kurin, the founder of “NetByNet” carrier acquired by “Megafon”, doesn’t believe that the participants of the union will manage to agree on fair prices for their assets under the joint holding company. He says he has sold NetByNet just in time, and now the moment’s gone and the carriers’ owners should scale back their expectations. “The alliances are impossible in Russia, the shareholders of the company A always estimate themselves higher, that the shareholders of the company B”, — the representative of one of the regional carriers says. According to him, in the past the same-like alliances broke up, because nobody managed to agree on fair value of the assets.