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MOSCOW, July 2 Russia's state-backed private
equity fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), plans to
buy a stake in Rostelecom, a spokeswoman for the
state-controlled telecoms operator said ahead of its expected
The RDIF is part of a pool of investors that would buy
shares owned by the company itself, Rostelecom
spokeswoman Kira Kiryukhina said on Tuesday. She declined
further comment, saying the deal had yet to be completed.
The Vedomosti business daily reported that the RDIF,
together with Deutsche Bank, would buy a stake worth
$250 million in Rostelecom, Russia's former fixed-line monopoly,
without specifying the size of the stake.
Deutsche Bank declined to comment. The RDIF was not
immediately available for comment.
Rostelecom chief executive Sergei Kalugin said in May that
the company, which owns around 5 percent of its own shares
through its Mobitel subsidiary, could sell the so-called
treasury stock to reduce its debts.
The government last week halved its privatisation target for
next year but still wants to sell its stake in Rostelecom, which
is being groomed to compete with Russia's three main private
mobile operators - MTS, Megafon and Vimpelcom
(Reporting by Anastasia Teterevleva; Additional reporting by
Oksana Kobzeva and Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Douglas Busvine
and Mark Potter)