Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (“MTS” – NYSE: MBT), the leading telecommunications provider in Russia and the CIS, announces that it has been notified by Mobile TeleSystems Finance S.A. (“MTS Finance”), a wholly owned subsidiary of MTS, that MTS Finance was served with a freezing order issued by the English High Court of Justice on January 26, 2011 (the “Order”).
The Order was issued in connection with the enforcement of an arbitration award in favor of Nomihold Securities Inc. (“Nomihold”) dated November 11, 2010 requiring MTS Finance to pay $170 million plus costs, interest, and $5.88 million in dividends (the “Award”) first reported by MTS on November 22, 2010, and reaffirmed on January 5, 2011, upon its finalization by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA). Among other things, the Order states that MTS Finance may not remove assets in England and Wales up to the amount of $208,113,544.60 or “in any way dispose of, deal with or diminish the value of any other of its assets” outside England and Wales up to the same value.
As previously announced on January 24, 2011, MTS is currently engaged in a cash tender offer to acquire any and all of the outstanding senior unsecured USD-denominated Eurobonds in the amount of $400 million with an annual interest rate of 8.00% due January 28, 2012 issued by MTS Finance and guaranteed by MTS.
MTS does not believe that the Order applies by its terms to MTS or that the Order should prevent the completion of either the tender offer or the solicitation of waivers and consent on its outstanding senior unsecured USD-denominated Eurobonds in the amount of $750 million with an annual interest rate of 8.625% due in June 2020 issued by MTS International Funding Limited1. Nonetheless, MTS intends to seek further clarifications.
1A private company organized and existing as a private limited company under the laws of Ireland.