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Rostelecom Mulls Tele2 Deal

Rostelecom on Thursday underlined the appeal of a merger with Swedish Group Tele2's Russian mobile unit as it seeks to overcome reliance on core fixed-line operations and mount a stronger challenge to cellular carriers.

The state-controlled company, aiming to raise its game in mobile, broadband and cable TV to offset losses on land lines, said it was not in formal discussions with Tele2 about merging its Russian mobile assets but saw few alternatives.

"We are considering a number of potential acquisitions in mobile in regions where we are not present. But … of course you know that apart from Tele2 there are no big potential targets," chief executive Alexander Provotorov said Thursday.

Kommersant reported this month that Rostelecom was in talks with Tele2 about a possible merger of their Russian mobile businesses.

(Reuters)

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