TeliaSonera splashes out on Asian mobile operator

Swedish-Finnish telecom operator TeliaSonera has bought US-based MCT, a provider of mobile services in central Asia, for 2.0 billion kronor (218 million euros, 300 million dollars), the company said on Tuesday.

The operator, the biggest in the Nordic region, has acquired 100 percent of MCT shares and thus gained the majority of shareholdings in three Eurasian GSM operators and a small minority interest in a fourth operator.

“This transaction underlines TeliaSonera’s strategy to be the leading Eurasian mobile operator and strengthens our commitment and presence in the region,” said Tero Kivisaari, head of TeliaSonera’s business area Eurasia.

TeliaSonera has acquired majority interests in Uzbek-American joint venture Coscom in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan groups CJSC Indigo-Tajikistan and CJSC Somoncom.

It also acquired minority interests in Afghan cellular provider Roshan.

MCT Corp has developed 29 mobile ventures since its formation, and its services have been united under the Indigo brand introduced in 2001, according to MCT.