Russia's VTB finalizes sale of 55% Tele2 Russia stake to Rostelecom

FILE PHOTO: People pass by a Tele2 company's sales office in St. Petersburg, April 2, 2013. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian state lender VTB VTBR.MM has finalised the sale of a 55% stake in mobile phone operator Tele2 Russia to state telecoms group Rostelecom RTKM.MM, the companies said on Wednesday.

VTB has held a stake in Tele2 since 2013, a period in which the lender’s CEO, Andrey Kostin, said Tele2 had grown from a niche mobile phone operator into a national player.

The bank will receive 108 billion roubles ($1.71 billion) from the sale of 45% of Tele2 Russia’s shares and also exchange a further 10% of Tele2 Russia’s shares for 10% of Rostelecom’s ordinary shares.

Reporting by Tatiana Voronova; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Maria Kiselyova