Mobile giant expands broadband operation

Russia’s second-largest mobile operator, Vympelcom, is buying a 49 per cent stake in Internet provider Corbina Telecom. The owner of the Beeline brand is purchasing the stock from Alexandr Mamut.

Vympelcom says the deal is worth $US 400 million.

The purchase will strengthen the telecom giant on the regional broadband services market, where it aims to increase its share to 20% by 2012.

Corbina serves 550,000 individuals and 11,000 corporate users in 24 Russian regions. It made more than $US 140 million in 2007.

Kommersant business daily reports that when the deal is complete, Vympelcom will replace the Corbina brand with Beeline, a well-known brand with mass-market appeal.

Beeline’s brand was valued at $US 7.164 billion in 2007, according to the Interbrand Zintzmeyer & Lux.