MTS reaches agreements with US DOJ and SEC over former operations in Uzbekistan
Via MTS News
Mar 7, 2019
Moscow, Russian Federation – PJSC MTS (NYSE: MBT, MOEX: MTSS), the leading telecommunications operator and digital service provider in Russia, announces that it has reached a resolution with the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) relating to previously disclosed investigations concerning MTS’ former subsidiary in Uzbekistan.
These agreements mark the closure of the investigations into the Company’s acquisition and operation of its former subsidiary in Uzbekistan during the period from 2004 to mid-2012. In connection with the agreements, MTS will pay the aggregate amount of USD 850 million. This amount was reserved as announced with the Company’s Q3 2018 results.
By entering into the DOJ resolution and the SEC settlement, MTS affirmed its commitment to ensuring that its business policies, processes and procedures strictly comply with all relevant anti-corruption legislation. In the resolution, the DOJ recognized MTS’ ongoing enhancements to its compliance program and internal accounting controls.
Alexey Kornya, MTS’ President and Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“Obtaining a resolution of the Uzbek investigations was in the Company’s best interests. The resolution and settlement allow MTS to focus fully on the implementation of MTS’ business strategy to be a first-in-class digital telecom company. MTS’ balance sheet remains strong and the current ratio of the Company's debt to OIBDA remains well below most of our Russian and international peers. We remain committed to investing in business development consistent with our planned capital expenditures while providing attractive shareholder returns.”
“MTS has systematically and pro-actively developed its current anti-corruption compliance framework in line with international best practices within a dedicated compliance division since 2012. Our compliance function continues to undergo testing and we are committed to developing and implementing high professional standards of corporate policies, processes and procedures at MTS. I am confident that MTS’ commitment to adhering to the highest standards of business ethics will strengthen and protect the Company’s position as a leader in all our markets of operation.”
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