ArmenTel Owner Obligations Outlined

YEREVAN (SNARK)–The upcoming international auction of the communication company ArmenTel Armenian-American Joint Venture has drawn great attention. The Armenian government intends to sell the enterprise through an international competition in order to finance the budget.

The government’s willingness to sell its 51 percent of ArmenTel shares is due to Trans World Telecom’s intention to make profit from the auction. TWT holds 49 percent of ArmenTel’s shares.

The pure profit from the sell off will most likely be $500,000,000. TWT–which has invested approximately $13,000,000 in the effort to modernize Armenia’s communication sphere–will gain $248,000,000 from the auction.

On behalf of the Armenian government–the international investment company of Merill Lynch will carry out the preparatory work for the auction.

Armenia’s Minister of Communications Grigor Poghpatian announced that the competition has begun and stated that 33 major foreign companies have already expressed willingness to participate.

The future owner of ArmenTel will be prohibited from taking unilateral decisions regarding tariffs for service and re-sale of enterprise shares.

The Minister stated that the new owner will not be allowed to re-sell more than 20 percent of the company’s shares and will be obligated to continue modernization and equipping of Yerevan’s entire communications system.

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