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Business

Business Briefs

Deutsche Telekom sells Russian mobile stake; Allianz agrees share deal with Pacific Life; Audi signs satellite radio deal with Sirius.

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Deutsche Telekom's CEO Kai-Uwe Ricke continues his debt reduction program.

Deutsche Telekom sells stake in Russian operator

German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom said on Tuesday it had sold part of its stake in the Russian mobile phone operator OJSC Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) for €200 million ($214 million). The move is part of a program announced on March 12 under which the German group plans to reduce its stake in MTS from 40.1 percent to 25.1 percent. At the time, Deutsche Telekom said it aimed to sell around five percent of MTS shares on the open market. The other main MTS shareholder, AFK Sistema JSFC, has an option to buy a stake of 10 percent. The proceeds from the sale would be used to cut the company's debt, Deutsche Telekom said.

Allianz takes on asset manager shares from Pacific Life

German insurance company Allianz said on Tuesday that it has acquired a substantial amount of shares in asset manager Pimco from US insurer Pacific Life for €233 million ($250 million). Pacific Life exercised a so-called "put option" on the shares, compelling Allianz to buy them at an agreed price, the German company said. Initially, the U.S. group had an option to sell Allianz its entire 30-percent stake in the asset manager for a fee rumored to be over €2 billion. But because Allianz did not have the necessary funds readily available, the two sides agreed that Pacific Life could exercise the option in stages and Allianz would not be obliged to buy more than €233 million of Pimco shares per quarter, a spokesman said. The compromise highlights Allianz continuing cashflow problem, in the wake of the meltdown on the financial markets and the heavy losses run up by its Dresdner Bank unit.

Audi signs satellite radio deal with Sirius

German carmaker Audi announced on Tuesday it had signed a deal with American satellite radio broadcaster Sirius to provide receivers as a dealer option on most of Audi's 2004 models. The inclusion of Sirius radio receivers will begin with the entire line-up of A4, A6, S4 and allroad Quattro vehicles from June. All future Audi vehicles will be pre-wired for Sirius, enabling customers to get receivers installed at Audi dealers. Sirius supplies more than 100 music, news, sports and entertainment channels in the United States, many free of advertising, for a monthly subscription fee.