Branson's Virgin Connect acquires Nizhny Novgorod telephone and broadband operator

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Nov 25, 2013 01:13 PM EST

A Switzerland-based company that operates under the Virgin Connect brand in Russia made an announcement of its acquisition of a local broadband and telecom operator today. Trivon AG said it had acquired The MegaMax Group, which is based in the Nizhny Novgorod region for an undisclosed amount. Pertinent details of the transaction were also not revealed.

Megamax had developed has a portfolio of high-quality services businesses in the region along with its own extensive fiber optic network. Megamax was founded by the Higher School of Economics local branch executive Eduard Fiyaksel, who is also a high-profile figure in the high-technology industry. Nizhny Novgorod is located in central Russia and is home to Nizhny, the fifth-largest city in all of Russia.

Fiyaksel said, "This project is the most successful of my venture investments. MegaMax was created from scratch up to the current stage together with my students. My best student, Nikolay Zotov, has become my business partner and manages the company." Zotov would reportedly retain his position in the company.

Virgin Connect said in a statement, "This acquisition strengthens the business for further investment in the Nizhny Novgorod region."

Trivon General Director Istvan Kovacs said the acquisition reveals the company's strategy. "(Our strategy consists of) finding local operators with talented local management and sharing in the growth opportunity with them."

Trivon Co-Chief Executive Officer Markus Mueller said, "More [acquisitions] were to come in the near future."

Mueller's comment negated an earlier rumor regarding the state of Virgin's business in Russia. The rumor indicated that Virgin's business was having difficulties in the Russian region.

The brand Virgin Connect is a licensed trademark, among the many owned by the UK company Virgin Group. Virgin's owner is known British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. According to a VentureBest report, the Virgin brand is a known globally with its companies for being customer-focused and innovative.

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