Russian mobile and fixed-line services company MTS has indefinitely postponed the planned sale of its tower assets.

The company initially said that it was considering a sale back in November 2021, and was believed to be near finalizing an agreement in the first half of 2022.

But with sanctions and the collapse of the rouble, potential acquirers have backed off. The company owns around 23,000 towers.

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An MTS data center – MTS

“We are continuing to look at different scenarios, we see interest in the asset and are in contact with potential investors," MTS said in a statement.

According to local outlet Kommersant, tower firm Service-Telecom and investment group Kismet Capital, which recently acquired Russian Towers, were believed to be interested in acquiring the division.

“In this process we are taking into account the current macroeconomic conditions, which at the moment are impacting the dynamics and subject of talks," Service-Telecom told Reuters.

The company late last year agreed to acquire Veon's primarily-Russian based tower portfolio for $970 million.

MTS is not itself sanctioned by the US or Europe, but the company has still been impacted by the wider impact of the invasion of Ukraine.

In early March, MTS was one of a number of Russian firms to be delisted from US stock exchanges. A few days later, Vodafone suspended its 14-year partnership with the company. Tech firms have stopped shipping equipment to Russia, even for non-sanctioned businesses, leaving the state with an acute computing shortage.

In a March statement, MTS said that its "business is resilient to external shocks" and said that its gross debt portfolio is 98 percent denominated in local currency.

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