Russian telecom operator Sistema, has expectedly announced that they intend to increase their stake in Shyam Telelink, which operates the CDMA mobile service Rainbow. ET reports that Shyam-Sistema has become the first of the new telecom operators to get pan-India spectrum for operating mobile services. Sistema currently owns 51 percent in Shyam Telelink, and as per the FDI norms in India, they can own a maximum of 74 percent stake.
Sistema had acquired 10 percent stake in Shyam Telelink for $11.4 million on Septembe 26th 2007. They then increased their holding to 51 percent, for $46.7 million, taking the total amount to $58.1 million (around Rs. 255 crores). ET adds that Sistema has invested around $500 million in India so far, which includes the Rs. 1650 crore ($375 million) fee for the pan-India license.
So far, Shyam Telelink has had a rather poor run of it – In June, they added only 1,378 mobile subscribers, which July was only relatively better with an addition of 5688 subscribers. Their mobile subscriber base is 115,462…which is a fraction of what most other operators add in a month. Obviously, Sistema hasn’t bought a stake in Shyam for its massive subscriber base. Sistema is a Russian conglomerate with businesses across telecom, technology, insurance, banking, real estate, retail and media, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange, Moscow Stock Exchange and the Russian Trading System
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