VTB structures may enter the consortium created to buy out cell towers and masts in Russia from the Veon holding – they now host the equipment of the Russian VimpelCom. Negotiations about this with the bank are conducted by the infrastructure operator “Russian Towers”, which is interested in these assets, said two people familiar with their progress. A scheme is possible in which VTB Capital, a member of the VTB Group, will become a shareholder of the consortium, and VTB Bank will act as a creditor to its other participants, says one of Vedomosti’s interlocutors. In any case, during negotiations with Russian Towers, the possibility is being discussed that VTB will finance half of the cost of a possible deal with Veon, both sources of Vedomosti agree. They did not name any other potential members of the consortium to buy the towers.
VimpelCom and its parent holding Veon do not disclose the number of antenna mast structures in Russia. According to AC&M Consulting, at the end of 2020, the company had about 15,000. In negotiations with Veon, their estimate appears at about $ 900 million, according to one of the sources familiar with its participants. We are talking about 60–70 billion rubles, another source confirms.