“VimpelCom” Vice-President doubts the presence of “political reason” in the tender on selling “ArmenTel”

06.12.2006 | 16:55 Home / News / News /

Yerevan, December 6 /Mediamax/. The Vice-President of “VimpelCom” Vladimir Ryabokon’ stated in Yerevan today that he has no information on “political reason” in the tender on selling the 90% shares of “ArmenTel”.

Commenting on Mediamax’s request on the statements, that the Russian leadership and the Armenian government, which owns the 10% share of “ArmenTel”, had allegedly beforehand agreed upon the fact that the winner of the tender will be one of the Russian companies, Vladimir Ryabokon’ noted that “we paid for this asset more than even we expected”.

“I do not know what prices the other companies offered. What concerns the guess-works on “political motive”, we have not been negotiating with the Armenian government. Moreover, one of the conditions of the tender, announced by the Greek OTE, was the ban for contacts of the participants of the contest with the Armenian government. I do not think that here we can talk about a political decision. Yes, the Armenian government owns 10% of the shares, but the owner of the 90% shares was OTE, which would hardly refuse a more profitable offer”, Vladimir Ryabokon’ stated. He noted that OTE, just as “VimpelCom”, is a public company, “and the investors would not have mercy on OTE, if it refused a more profitable offer”.

Commenting on the statements that the Arab Etisalat operator offered OTE $150mln more that “VimpelCom” did, the General Director of “ArmenTel” Oleg Bliznyuk said: “Put yourself in the shoes of OTE and decide, whether you would refuse additional $150mln”.

“VimpelCom” Vice-President: “We sent one of the most talented managers to Armenia”

The representatives of the Russian “VimpelCom” Company presented in Yerevan today about their plans for developing the recently purchased “ArmenTel” Armenian telecommunication operator.

Mediamax reports that the Corporate Development Vice-President of “VimpelCom” Vladimir Ryabokon’, the General Director of “ArmenTel” Oleg Bliznyuk and the CIS and Regional Development PR-Manager of “VimpelCom” Artem Minaev held a news conference today.

Vladimir Ryabokon’ stated that last week the General Director of “VimpelCom” Alexander Izosimov visited Yerevan and met 2000 employees of “ArmenTel”.

Presenting the new Head of “ArmenTel”, Vladimir Ryabokon’ stated that Oleg Bliznyuk “is one of the most talented managers of “VimpelCom””.

He noted that Oleg Bliznyuk has been heading different scale companies for already 10 years, and the latest place of work for him before being sent to Armenia, was the Ural region of the Russian Federation. According to the Vice-President of “VimpelCom”, during the period of work there Oleg Bliznyuk managed to increase the number of Beeline subscribers by 7 times, and the proceeds of the Ural branch of the company – by 25 times. “We hope that Oleg will repeat his success in Armenia”, Vladimir Ryabokon’ stated. He noted that Oleg Bliznyuk is one of 15 holders of the “Diamond Bee” award, which is awarded to the most valuable employees of “VimpelCom”.

The Russian “VimpelCom” operator, which comes out under the “Beeline” brand, purchased the 90% share of the “ArmenTel” Armenian telecommunications Company from the Greek OTE
for 382 million euros ($488 million) this November.

“VimpelCom” Vice-President: “We are very much interested in creating a convergent product in Armenia”

The Corporate Development Vice-President of “VimpelCom” Vladimir Ryabokon’ stated in Yerevan today that the “ArmenTel” Company holds a “special status” in Armenia.

Mediamax reports that speaking at a news conference in Yerevan today, Vladimir Ryabokon’ stated that “ArmenTel” is one of the largest employer companies in the country, the leader as to the proceeds volumes and a national champion”.

“All this implies additional responsibility, which we are ready to take upon ourselves”, the Vice-President of “VimpelCom” stated.

The new General Director of “ArmenTel” Oleg Bliznyuk said that the Armenian market presents “VimpelCom” with a “unique opportunity” to combine mobile and fixed communication services and create a convergent product. He noted that there is already an expert group working, which will in a few months present the corresponding recommendations.

“We are very much interested in the opportunity to create a convergent product. Armenia will become a good testing area for convergent solutions”, Vladimir Ryabokon’ stated.

He noted that in each of the countries, where “VimpelCom’ starts functioning, a single operation model is used. At the same time, Vladimir Ryabokon’ stressed, “we always take into account the local peculiarities”.

Oleg Bliznyuk: “ArmenTel” is going to become the leader in the sphere of mobile communication”

The new General Director of “ArmenTel” Oleg Bliznyuk presented the main tasks of the Company in Yerevan today.

Mediamax reports that speaking at a news conference in Yerevan today; Oleg Bliznyuk highlighted the necessity of increasing the level of penetration of the fixed communication in Armenia, which at present makes only 20%.

The General Director noted that “ArmenTel” is gong to actively continue the process of digitalization of the nets. At present, only 50% of the fixed nets in Armenia are digital.

Oleg Bliznyuk stated that “ArmenTel’ intends to become the leader in the sphere of mobile communication in Armenia, to provide high-quality services of fixed communication, at the same time preserving the financial effectiveness of the Company, and to become the most attractive employer company in Armenia”. He noted the necessity of partial modernization of the equipment, the increase of coverage zone and improvement of mobile communication quality. According to Oleg Bliznyuk, “during the three weeks of my stay in Armenia I realized that the quality of the mobile communication of “ArmenTel” leaves much to be desired”.

Among the number of upcoming tasks, the General Director of the Company also noted the implementation of the new billing system and large-scale value added services, providing international level of service to the subscribers.

Oleg Bliznyuk stated that “ArmenTel” considers the second mobile operator “VivaCell” “not a rival, but a partner”, preferring the “business partner” phrase more”, he stated.

According to Oleg Bliznyuk, “the competition will benefit the both operators; will stimulate active implementation of value added services”. According to the assessment of the General Director of “ArmenTel”, the level of penetration of mobile communication in Armenia makes 30%, at that “ArmenTel” has 400 thousand subscribers, and “Vivacell” – 600 thousand.

Answering Mediamax’s question about the terms of implementation of GPRS-services by “ArmenTel”, Oleg Bliznyuk stated that “we intend to provide our subscribers the possibilities of mobile internet as soon as it is possible”. At that Oleg Bliznyuk did not rule out that “ArmenTel” may right away implement in Armenia EDGE technologies. --0--

“VimpelCom” to invest in “ArmenTel” “tens of million dollars” and to quit monopoly

The Corporate Development Vice-President of “VimpelCom” Vladimir Ryabokon’ stated in Yerevan today that the volume of investments to “ArmenTel” “will be calculated to tens of million dollars”.

Mediamax reports that speaking at a news conference in Yerevan today, Vladimir Ryabokon’ confirmed that “ArmenTel” will voluntarily resign the monopoly rights, belonging to him.

“We will quit the monopoly as we are not afraid of competition. The agreement with the Armenian government on demonopolization is already reached, at present we discuss the principles and the form of quiting the monopoly”, Vladimir Ryabokon’ stated.

Commenting on the proposal of the Armenian government to sell the 10% share of “ArmenTel”, belonging to it, Vladimir Ryabokon’ stated that “we like the prospect of full control over the company”. “We examine the offer, but we have not yet made a final decision”, he stated.

Vladimir Ryabokon’ noted that during a relatively short period of time, “VimpelCom” purchased operations in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Georgia and Armenia. He stressed that the purchase of “ArmenTel” became the most large-scale purchase among them. Moreover, the Vice-President of the Company noted, from all the purchased companies, “ArmenTel” was the one with the most volume of proceeds at the moment of the purchase.

Presenting the activities of “VimpelCom” in the CIS states, the Vice-President of the Company noted that as compared to 2005, in Kazakhstan the growth of quarter proceeds made 100%.

In Ukraine the proceeds growth index increased by more than 500%. “Yes, in Ukraine, we started with a smaller base, however, we have to take into account that in Ukraine we launched the brand only in April of 2006”, Vladimir Ryabokon’ noted.

The Vice-President of the Company informed that in Uzbekistan “VimpelCom” purchased a ready company but the brand was launched only in September 2006.

Vladimir Ryabokon’ stated that in Tajikistan and Georgia, “VimpelCom” purchased licenses. In Tajikistan, the network was built in 9 months, and now the company already has 40 thousand subscribers. In Georgia, the first testing calls are already made, and the commercial launch of the network will take place in February-March of 2007.

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