Sistema confirms talks to sell MTS India

Sistema confirms talks to sell MTS India

Reliance Communications (RCom) and Russian industrial group Sistema have entered talks on a potential merger of their telecoms units in India.

The Russian conglomerate confirmed that it is in exclusive talks to merge its Sistema Shyam TeleServices unit - which operates as MTS India - with billionaire Anil Ambani’s RCom. Sistema would receive a stake in RCom as payment. 

MTS India is a joint venture between Sistema, the Russian Federation and the Shyam Group of India. Sistema and the Russian government own nearly 74% in the company, of which Sistema owns approximately 56.7%.  

The proposed deal will come in the form of a stock swap. The talks are still in the early stage and any deal remains subject to due diligence.

In May 2015 the companies were rumoured to be in discussions about combining their operations. RCom has sought to consolidate its business and is considering the sale of assets to lower debt. 

RCom owns an extensive 2G and 3G mobile network across India. Reliance Jio, a separate company, owned by a different group, plans to launch 4G services across India later in 2015.

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