With an initial funding of USD16 bln – stretchable to USD25 bln – Mikhail Fridman’s L1Technology will be utilized to acquire businesses ranging from traditional telecoms groups to Internet companies. The technology offshoot of L1Technology will act as holding company for the 48% in VimpelCom, owned by Fridman, and a 13% share in Turkcell.
In April 2015, Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman reinstated his ambitions for the telecoms industry when he announced plans to invest in telecoms and technology companies across the US and Europe with his private equity fund LetterOne Technology (L1Technology). With an initial funding of $16 billion – stretchable to $25 billion – L1Technology will be utilised to acquire businesses ranging from traditional telecoms groups to internet companies . The technology offshoot of L1Technology will act as holding company for the 48% in VimpelCom, owned by Fridman, and the 13% share in Turkish telecoms operator Turkcell. «We think that Europe is currently most attractive because of the consolidation processes that are gathering strength there. The time is right [to invest],» Alexei Reznikovich, chief of L1Technology told reporters. «We are looking at Russia and Southeast Asia, too, but we think that Europe is the most obvious candidate given the dynamic of the sector’s development,» he added. In March 2015, Russia’s Alfa Telecom – of which Fridman is chairman – offered $2.8 billion to purchase a 13.8% stake of Turkcell in a bid to double its holding in the company.