Wednesday, January 24 2018 17:18
Emmanuil Mkrtchyan

Having replaced offshore shareholders, MTS Armenia mobile operator actually remained in hands of ultimate beneficiaries

Having replaced offshore shareholders, MTS Armenia mobile operator actually remained in hands of ultimate beneficiaries

ArmInfo. Having replaced offshore shareholders, the mobile operator MTS Armenia, in fact, remained in the hands of the ultimate beneficiary owners. The press service of MTS Armenia CJSC gave such an explanation two days after the documents on the sale of 100% of the operator of one offshore company to another appeared in the documents of the Public Services Regulatory Commission of Armenia (PSRC). Today the Commission approved the deal, which, as explained in the MTS Armenia, was carried out by the final beneficiaries with the aim of "optimization".

The company's long silence on this matter and the unfavorable background surrounding the Russian MTS, in connection with the multibillion-dollar financial disputes with Rosneft, Bashneft and the Republic of Bashkortostan, gave analysts an opportunity to speculate about the possible intention of the Russian parent company to sell the Armenian daughter. Speech, however, as it turned out in fact, was only about the redistribution of shares within the chain of offshore companies for the purpose, known exclusively to the shareholders themselves.

In fact, as before, the interests of MTS Armenia are owned by the final beneficiaries represented by OJSC Mobile TeleSystems, which controls 80% of the company's shares and Lebanese businessmen - the Fattush brothers, which controls a 20% stake. As a result of the above-mentioned transaction, 99.99% of the shares of MTS Armenia CJSC, formerly owned by the offshore company KT (Holding), were sold to another off- shore company - Aramayo Investments Limited. The remaining 0.01% of the shares in equal shares distributed between the two other shareholders will also be alienated in favor of Aramayo Investments Limited. One of these shareholders is Russian citizen Pavel Masharov, who is the director of Aramayo Investments Limited, and judging by the reports of MTS, an affiliate of the Russian company.

Due to the database of the Cyprus register, it became known that ARAMAYO INVESTMENTS LIMITED was registered as an offshore company numbered HE 349745 December 3, 2015. The company is registered at 1065, Nicosia, Cyprus, at str. Arch. Makarioy III, 2-4, in the building CAPITAL CENTER on the 9th floor. Cyprus offshore is also mentioned in the Bloomberg database. According to her, through its subsidiaries, Aramayo is engaged in the processing of metals and alloys. The company also manages investment property and deals with financial investments. The company's branches are located in Switzerland, Great Britain, Germany, USA, France, Italy and Spain. The head office of the company is located in Geneva, Switzerland. Meanwhile, the company with the identical name ARAMAYO INVESTMENT is also registered in Panama. How related are these two offshore - in Cyprus and in Panama - is difficult to say.

According to the analytical materials of the rating service of the ArmInfo Information Company, by the results of 2016 the revenue of the "MTS Armenia" company decreased by 20.7%, the gross profit fell by 27.4%, the net profit by 61%, the assets of the company decreased by 13.4% . The EBITA indicator has been steadily declining in recent years, from 27.4% in 2014 to 11.08% to the beginning of 2017. Financial data for 2017 has not yet been made public.

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