AFK Sistema, Russian billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov’s holding company, agreed to acquire agricultural producer OAO Donskoe from the government to diversify into grains.
Sistema, which controls cell-phone operator OAO Mobile TeleSystems and oil producer OAO Bashneft, is seeking to enter new markets, the Moscow-based company said today in a statement. Sistema agreed to pay 477 million rubles ($16 million) for Donskoe, it said.
“The domestic agricultural sector has great potential,” Chief Executive Officer Mikhail Shamolin said in the statement. “Grain production costs in Russia are among the lowest in the world. Thus, export of grain in 2011 was the highest in the recent history of our country.”