Austria Telekom acquires 70% stake in MDC for $1.03b

The Austria Telekom group said it has agreed to acquire a 70 % majority stake in Belarusian Mobile Digital Communication, or MDC, for 730 million euros ($1.03 billion), an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report, quoting a statement, said Austria Telekom will buy the stake through a 70% holding in the company's full owner, Cyprus-based SB Telecom.

The acquisition is subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities.

Austria Telekom also has an option to buy the outstanding 30% at a price of 320 million euros ($453.6 million) in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to the statement.

MDC has about 2.8 million customers, giving it a 42% share of the fast-growing Belarus mobile telecommunications market, the Associated Press report said.

Austria Telekom said it will finance the 70% stake in SB Telecom using existing credit facilities.