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Russia's Golden Telecom raises $180 mln loan

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MOSCOW, May 23 (RIA Novosti) - Golden Telecom [NASDAQ: GLDN], a leading Russian telecommunications company, said Wednesday it had raised a $180 million loan under a $275 mln five-year syndicated loan agreement signed with international lenders.

The loan, which carries interest rate of LIBOR plus 1.5% per year in the first 24 months and LIBOR plus 2% for each subsequent year, was received through EDN Sovintel LLC, a Golden Telecom subsidiary, the company said in a statement.

Golden Telecom, which provides integrated telecom and Internet services in major Russian cities and former Soviet republics, will use the loan to finance the acquisition and development of Moscow-based broadband Internet provider Corbina Telecom and also the firm Fortland, licensed to provide digital video broadcast (DVB) services in Moscow and St. Petersburg., the statement said.

Golden Telecom, whose major shareholders are Altimo (29%), Telenor (20%), and Rostelecom (11%), also intends to use the loan to invest in the development of digital television, regional expansion and consolidation of alternative operators, the statement said.

The loan disbursement brings Golden Telecom's total borrowings to $255 million, the statement said.

Citibank N.A., London Branch and ING Bank N.V. are the leading loan managers, Golden Telecom said.

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