German telecommunications group Deutsche Telekom wants to sell its 25.1 percent stake in Russia's leading mobile phone operator, Mobile Telesystems (MTS), the newspaper
Handelsblatt reported Wednesday, adding that the interest was worth about $4 billion (€3.1 billion). The paper, citing sources close to Deutsche Telekom, said the group wanted to get out of the Russian mobile phone market, even though it is expanding, to concentrate on Europe and the United States. If the report is confirmed the venture would be consistent with a strategy initiated last year, when the group reduced its stake in MTS from 40 to 25.1 percent as part of debt reduction efforts.
Handelsblatt said Deutsche Telekom had also decided to pull out of MTS after other shareholders objected to its plans to exercise an option to take majority control of the company.