Akin, Skadden and White & Case advise on £5,3bn MegaFon deal

Akin Gump, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and White & Case have all landed roles on the $8.5bn (£5.3bn) shareholder restructuring of Russia’s second largest mobile phone operator OAO MegaFon.

Artem Faekov
Artem Faekov

Akin Gump advised AF Telecom on the shareholder restructuring, which saw the company increase its interest in MegaFon through purchasing Altimo’s 25.1 per cent stake in the Russian mobile phone operator. The deal also saw TeliaSonera reduce its 43.8 per cent interest in MegaFon to 35.6 percent.

The Akin Gump team was led by London corporate partner Artem Faekov alongside Moscow corporate partners Alexey Kondratchik and Vladimir Kouznetsov. The team also looked to Geneva counsel Oliver Ciric for additional corporate advice.

White & Case advised TeliaSonera, with Moscow-based head of corporate/M&A in CEE Eric Michailov leading the deal, alongside partner Jonathan Langley and associates Anastasia Putilova, Ekaterina Kamkina, Vladimir Romanov and Christopher O’Donnell.

Skadden’s Frankfurt partner Hilary Foulkes and Moscow partner Alexey Kiyashko acted for longstanding client Altimo.

The deal marks the end of a bitter shareholder dispute with an agreement that MegaFon will pay out a $5.15bn (£3.2bn) dividend to TeliaSonera, AF Telecom and Altimo.

It also brings MegaFon one step closer to its proposed IPO, which has previously been hampered by the shareholder dispute. It is believed that the mobile phone operator may join a growing list of Russian companies that have floated on the London Stock Exchange in recent years (2 April 2012).

Commenting on the deal Akin Gump partner Artem Faekov said: “This has been a highly complex transaction.”

Akin Gump has a track record in the Russian telecoms sector and advised longstanding client VimpelCom on its acquisition of Weather Investments in 2010, which created a company with operations in 20 European, Asian, African and North American countries (4 October 2010).