09:29 GMT +321 November 2017

    VimpelCom buys controlling stake in Georgia's Mobitel

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    MOSCOW, July 12 (RIA Novosti) - VimpelCom [RTS: VIMP] said Wednesday it had purchased a controlling 51% stake in Georgia's cell phone operator Mobitel for $12.6 million.

    Russia's second largest mobile company, which operates under the Beeline brand, also acquired an option for the purchase of the remaining 49% of the Georgian cell phone operator.

    "We are glad to announce that our company has entered Georgia, which is home to 4.7 million people. This market, no doubt, has great potential for development," VimpelCom General Director Alexander Izosimov said.

    Georgia will be the fifth country in the former Soviet Union where VimpelCom will operate, as it has already established operations in Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.

    Established in November 2003, Mobitel is licensed to provide GSM-1800 mobile phone services until mid-2013. VimpelCom is planning to start the construction and development of a cell phone network and hold a tender for the purchase of equipment, after the deal is closed.

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