Comstar Raises Stake In Armenia’s Cornet To 100%

Michael Lacquiere

World Market Research Centre
Global Insight
May 18 2010

Alternative operator Comstar has announced that it has increased to
100% its stake in CallNet Enterprises, the full owner of Armenian
fixed-line operator Cornet. Comstar has increased its holding from the
75% plus one share it gained in October 2006. No financial details
of the deal have been disclosed. Cornet offers fixed-line local and
long-distance voice services, broadband, data transfer, corporate
network management, and WiMAX with subscribers in both the private
and corporate sectors.

Significance:Having been acquired by leading CIS integrated operator
Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) in late 2009, Comstar is now part of a larger
group with a presence in Armenia, MTS unit K-Telecom, which leads the
Armenian mobile market with 2.073 million subscribers at the end of
2009. However, MTS does not have any presence in Armenia’s fixed-line
sector, so by increasing its stake in CallNet and thereby Cornet,
Comstar is bolstering MTS’ presence in the country. Having recently
launched converged services in Russia through Comstar, MTS may well
now look to exploit similar converged synergies in Armenia.