Moscow, Russia – April 7, 2009 – Sistema (LSE: SSA), the largest diversified public corporation in Russia and the CIS, which manages fast growing companies operating in the telecommunications, consumer services sectors and technology industries, today announced that it has signed an agreement with JSC VTB Bank (“VTB”) to sell a portion of its shares in JSC Sistema-Hals (“Sistema-Hals”).
The transaction is being carried out in two stages. During the first stage completed today VTB acquired 19.5% stake in Sistema-Hals for RUB 30 and also received a call option to acquire a further 31.5% stake in the company for RUB 30. VTB may exercise its call option subject to receiving the necessary approvals from the regulatory authorities. Following the exercise of the call option, VTB will own 51% of Sistema-Hals. Furthermore, both parties have agreed the terms for the restructuring of Sistema-Hals’ debt to VTB.
Leonid Melamed, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sistema, commented: “This transaction is in line with our stated strategy to grow the value of our asset portfolio and to optimize its structure. We are grateful for our partnership with VTB Bank which enables us to achieve our stated goal. We believe there is huge potential in the Russian real estate sector, and will continue to participate in the development of Sistema-Hals through our 20% minority stake.”