Prokhorov’s Onexim Keen on Marshall’s Stake in Rostelecom

Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Group said it may consider buying a 10.7 percent stake in fixed-line operator OAO Rostelecom from Marshall Capital after the fund annulled its deal with Arkady Rotenberg.

“We were interested in buying the stake from Konstantin Malofeev, but talks were stopped by the deal with Rotenberg,” Dmitry Razumov, Onexim’s chief executive officer, said in an interview last week. “We may still consider it if the opportunity presents itself.”

Malofeev’s Marshall canceled the sale of its stake in state-run operator Rostelecom to Rotenberg April 10 after the parties failed to agree on final terms of the deal announced in February. Malofeev was in talks with Onexim over the stake sale before turning to Rotenberg, Vedomosti said in February.

Rostelecom fell as much as 4.8 percent today and traded down 4.4 percent at 110.95 rubles at 11:10 a.m. in Moscow.

Onexim’s other assets, including lender OOO Renaissance Credit and media holding OAO RBC, which operates internet assets and runs a TV channel and other media businesses, “could have synergies with Rostelecom,” Razumov said.

RBC has held talks to acquire business daily Vedomosti from its owners including Sanoma OYJ, Razumov said, confirming earlier media reports, though he doesn’t see the deal happening.

Julia Emm, a spokeswoman for Marshall Capital, declined to comment on the interest from Onexim.

Robin Janszen, a spokesman for Sanoma, said in an e-mail the Helsinki-based company doesn’t comment on rumors. “We would like to underline that Sanoma is and remains firmly committed to doing business in Russia,” he said.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.