02 May, 2012

Deal underscores Walkers’ strong track record in Russia & CIS  


Walkers, a leading international law firm, has acted for Altimo, the leading investment company in Russia in the field of mobile and fixed line communications, on the US$8.5 billion shareholder restructuring of Russia’s second largest mobile phone operator OAO MegaFon. The transaction closed on 24 April, 2012.


The deal paves the way for MegaFon to pursue an IPO, including a listing on the London Stock Exchange.


The transaction saw existing shareholder AF Telecom increase its interest in MegaFon through purchasing Altimo’s 25.1 per cent stake in the Russian mobile phone operator. The deal also saw another existing shareholder, TeliaSonera, reduce its 43.8 per cent interest in MegaFon to 35.6 per cent.


Walkers advised on British Virgin Islands law for BVI based Altimo. The Walkers team was led by Jack Boldarin, Partner in the firm’s Corporate & Finance Group and also featured Neil McDonald and Oliver Clifton. Walkers worked alongside the Moscow office of Skadden Arps.


Walkers’ involvement follows a series of high-profile deals that the firm has advised on in Russia and the CIS – most recently for Russian bank Sberbank’s acquisition of Troika Dialog Group.


Jack Boldarin (pictured), Partner, Walkers, said: “We’ve seen Walkers going from strength to strength in advising on the market leading, cross-border corporate transactions in the Russia and CIS region.


“This deal will allow Altimo to fully realise the value of its investment in MegaFon and it forms the basis for MegaFon to pursue an IPO. It’s a major event for the telecommunications industry in Russia.


Expertise in this area is an important part of our offering here in our European offices and our team are well placed to deliver multi-jurisdictional advice under the laws of BVI, Cayman and Jersey from our time zone convenient European base.”


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