MOSCOW Nov 14 Russian mobile operator MegaFon's
deal to acquire a stake in cellphone retailer Euroset is
expected to be approved by the country's antitrust watchdog on
MegaFon announced plans in October to pay up to
$1.33 billion to buy half of Euroset, expanding the number of
shops through which it can sell its services in Russia's highly
competitive mobile market. MegaFon competes against MTS
and Vimpelcom in Russia.
Igor Artemyev, the head of Russia's antitrust watchdog FAS,
said that FAS could approve the deal on Wednesday on condition
of nondiscriminatory access to Euroset shops for MegaFon's
Vimpelcom, Russia's third-largest mobile firm, will
hold the other 50 percent stake in Euroset, which has 5,500
stores in Russia and Belarus. MegaFon runs 1,750 of its own
stores and 2,000 franchisee shops, according to VTB analysts.
The company, Russia's No.2 mobile phone company, is also
planning a London IPO in the coming weeks after recently
receiving an unofficial green light from the UK regulator,
sources familiar with the matter said.