Russia's VTB says agreed to sell 50 pct of Tele2 Russia

Reuters

MOSCOW, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Russia's VTB bank hasagreed to sell a 50 percent stake in mobile phone operator Tele2Russia to a group of Russian investors, a senior executive ofVTB said on Friday.

The buyers include structures of Bank Rossiya and steelmakerSeverstal, Yuri Soloviev, first deputy president ofVTB's management board, told Reuters. He declined to disclosethe financial terms of the deal.

A week ago Bank Rossiya, which is part-owned and chaired byYuri Kovalchuk, an old acquaintance of President Vladimir Putin, said that it was considering participating in a deal to acquirepart of Tele2 Russia, with VTB saying that a deal was possiblein the next two weeks.

Tele2 Russia, the country's fourth largest mobile phoneoperator, was acquired by VTB for $3.66 billion in April, afterits former parent company, Sweden's Tele2, decided toexit the Russian market.

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