: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Ukraine`s privatization watchdog unhappy with investor of Ukrtelecom

Ukraine`s State Property Fund (SPF) claims that the ESU company, which is a major shareholder in the country`s largest landline service provider Ukrtelecom and which belongs to Ukrainian businessman Rinat Akhmetov, has not fulfilled a number of the investment obligations it undertook when it privatized the telecoms giant, according to Ukrelecom`s press service.

”Checks [on the ESU`s privatization-related commitments to Ukrtelecom] began in May 2016, and after a considerable delay, the State Property Fund of Ukraine in February 2017 sent an act to the ESU, stating that several of over 50 commitments have not been fulfilled,” the press service said in a statement.

The ESU, in turn, disagrees with some of the conclusions mentioned in the act, and calls on the State Property Fund to seek a compromise. It says that if the State Property Fund sues the ESU, the latter will be ready to defend its position and ownership of Ukrtelecom shares, the statement said.

Read alsoUkrtelecom privatized virtually for free – Lutsenko The press service explains that the System Capital Management Group (SCM) owned by Rinat Akhmetov became the owner of Ukrtelecom`s controlling stake in 2013, two years after the telecoms provider was privatized. The SCM indirectly acquired the ESU from its previous owners, who privatized Ukrtelecom in 2011 and who concluded a privatization agreement with the above mentioned commitments.

”The ESU believes the State Property Fund`s key claims are related to action or inaction by Ukrtelecom`s previous owners and the nature of the commitments they undertook amid the privatization,” the statement said.

The operator`s website informs that since the moment when the SCM acquired the ownership of Ukrtelecom, it has demonstrated stable financial results and posted profits. Its annual payments to the national budget are nearly UAH 2 billion. What is more, the company continues providing telecoms services in usual mode.

Earlier, one of the largest Ukrainian telecoms operators, Ukrtelecom, reduced its net profit by 44.5% in 2016 from 2015, to UAH 244 million. At the same time, the company`s revenue in 2016 fell by 2%, to UAH 6.636 billion.

Ukrtelecom is Ukraine`s largest landline service provider. Its clientele is almost 8 million subscribers. It also provides high-speed Internet access to over 1.6 million customers.

The company`s controlling stake belongs to Rinat Akhmetov`s SCM Group.


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