MTS purchase of Ukrainian network going ahead

Russia's largest mobile operator Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) is going ahead with the purchase of Ukrainian network UMC, a deal which had been held up by a lawsuit, the biggest shareholder of MTS Sistema reported. "All the aims are clear, and there is money to buy UMC," Vladimir Yevtushenkov, the head of the Sistema holding that owns over 40 percent of MTS, told reporters. "Everything is technically in process and on schedule."

In January, a Kiev court threw out a lawsuit challenging the Ukrainian government's decision to sell the state telecommunications monopoly's stake in UMC, the second-largest mobile firm in Ukraine.

MTS, which has agreed to buy 57.7 percent of UMC for $194.2 million, including 16.3 percent each from Deutsche Telekom and Dutch KPN, said the entire UMC deal would be postponed until the end of February due to the suit. MTS is still hoping to close the deal in the first quarter of this year. MTS also plans to buy the remaining shares in UMC from Ukrtelekom and Danish TDC, the Russia Journal reported.

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