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TMCNet:  Agenda A test of governance: BY SIMON GOODLEY: MAKING THE NEWS: MegaFon makes the extraordinary ordinary

[May 24, 2014]

Agenda A test of governance: BY SIMON GOODLEY: MAKING THE NEWS: MegaFon makes the extraordinary ordinary

(Observer (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The telecommunications sector has never been known as the most entertaining in the City - the products are technical and so are the jokes - but there has always been something mildly intriguing about MegaFon, Russia's second-largest telecoms group, which counts Arsenal investor Alisher Usmanov as a top shareholder.


You'll recall it's the firm that caused a bit of a fuss 18 months ago by floating on the London stock exchange - an offer that proved too sensational for the investment bank Goldman Sachs, which withdrew as an adviser after supposedly feeling rushed over its due diligence. Simultaneously, Usmanov assuaged investor concerns by stressing it would be the giant oligarch himself - rather than his partners Vladimir Skoch and Farhad Moshiri - who would control MegaFon votes.

Anyway, the company announces numbers this week, before again facing shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting in early June, when it is asking for permission to do a deal with Usmanov.

That will be the sixth MegaFon EGM in nine months, so they're not wildly extraordinary. Meanwhile, it also provides MegaFon non-exec Lord Myners with a fresh challenge, now he's concluded his musings on the Co-op's unorthodox governance. Who says these people don't have a sense of humour? Captions: Alisher Usmanov: major investor.

(c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.

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