METROMEDIA INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC

METROMEDIA INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC

Previous company name
ACTAVA GROUP INC
Name change date
7/23/1993
Company Overview
Metromedia International Group Inc is a holding company that owns interests in telecommunications and media operations in the Republic of Georgia. The company was formed in 1889 and formerly known as Actava Group Inc. It has its registered head office located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Metromedia International is a leader in global communications, telephony, Internet. The company operates in three segments: Fixed Telephony, Wireless Telephony, and Cable Television. Fixed Telephony segment’s operations are centered in Russia and Georgia. It provides local telephony services, transit services for other telecommunications operators, and data communications services for businesses and individual customers. This segment also provides domestic and international long distance access to telephone subscribers and terminating access to fixed and mobile subscribers. Wireless Telephony segment offers mobile telephony and roaming services, and related information services for businesses and individual customers. It also provides multichannel pay television services in Georgia, using both wireless and wired network technologies. Cable Television segment, through Ayety TV, provides cable television services in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The company’s competitors include: Turkcell and VimpelCom.
Business Summary
Metromedia International Group, Inc. is a holding company that has interests in business ventures that principally provide telecommunication services to customers in Georgia. As of December 31, 2004, the Company had two reporting segments: Magticom Ltd. (Magticom), a mobile telephony operator in Tbilisi, Georgia, in which the Company has a 50.1% ownership interest, and PeterStar, a local exchange carrier in St. Petersburg, Russia. As of December 31, 2004, it also had interests in Telecom Georgia, a long-distance transit operator in Tbilisi, Georgia, in which the Company has a 25.6% ownership interest, and Ayety TV, a cable television provider in Tbilisi, Georgia, in which the Company has an 85% ownership interest. In May 2007, the Company purchased the remaining 74.4% ownership interests in each of the Georgian communications companies, Telecom Georgia and Telenet. In August 2007, CaucusCom Ventures completed the acquisition of MIG.
Description and history
Metromedia International Group, Inc. (MIG) is a holding company that has interests in business ventures that principally provide telecommunication services to customers in Georgia. As of December 31, 2004, the Company had two reporting segments: Magticom Ltd. (Magticom), a mobile telephony operator in Tbilisi, Georgia, in which the Company has a 50.1% ownership interest, and PeterStar, a local exchange carrier in St. Petersburg, Russia. As of December 31, 2004, the Company also had ownership interests in Telecom Georgia, a long-distance transit operator in Tbilisi, Georgia, in which the Company has a 25.6% ownership interest, and Ayety TV, a cable television provider in Tbilisi, Georgia, in which the Company has an 85% ownership interest. In August 2007, CaucusCom Ventures completed the acquisition of MIG. CaucusCom Mergerco Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of CaucusCom Ventures, merged with and into Metromedia, with Metromedia continuing as the surviving corporation and a subsidiary of CaucusCom Ventures.

In May 2007, the Company purchased the remaining 74.4% ownership interests in each of the Georgian communications companies, Telecom Georgia and Telenet. On August 1, 2005, the Company consummated the sale of its 71% ownership interest in the PeterStar Group. In February 2005, it’s ownership in Magticom increased to 42.8% from 34.5%. On October 27, 2006, the Company, through International T LLC, an intermediary holding company in which the Company has a 25.6% economic ownership interest, acquired the 19% ownership interest held by Bulcom in Telecom Georgia.

Magticom

Magticom is a provider of mobile telephony services in Georgia. Magticom delivers services to businesses and consumers nationwide utilizing a global system for mobile communications (GSM) mobile telephony infrastructure. Magticom has built a nationwide network with coverage that supports roaming throughout Georgia. It also has international roaming agreements with more than 150 GSM operators around the world enabling its customers to use their Magticom-billed mobile service in foreign countries. Magticom’s network is interconnected with those of other mobile and fixed telephony operators in Georgia, enabling Magticom customers to call and receive calls from any Georgian telephone subscriber.

In addition to voice mobile communication, Magticom offers a short message service (SMS) enabling customers to exchange text messages via their mobile handsets. In 2004, Magticom implemented the capability to exchange Internet protocol (IP)-based traffic over its network. Using services built on this capability, customers can send and receive e-mail, pictures and other digitally encoded items via their mobile handsets as well as browse Internet Websites. Using this same IP-based capability, in 2004 Magticom introduced push-to-talk service, which supports continuous walky-talky like communication within pre-selected subscriber groups.

Magticom’s services are sold primarily on a pre-paid basis. Mobile subscribers purchase Magticom pre-paid scratch cards in varying denominations which, after the entry of the scratch card’s code via their mobile telephone, establishes (or increases) the subscriber’s account balance usable for future mobile services. Magticom’s self-developed billing and control systems continually monitor actual subscriber service usage and stop future usage when a subscriber’s prepaid account balance is exhausted. Scratch cards are sold in bulk at a small discount to dealers for resale to consumers, resulting in Magticom receiving cash in advance of actual service consumption. This pre-paid arrangement accounts for more than 90% of Magticom’s total service revenues and nearly 98% of all Magticom subscribers. Magticom also sells services on a post-paid basis to certain of its business customers who then receive itemized monthly billing statements.

Basic subscriber service consists of a mobile telephone number and ability to make and receive telephone calls anywhere in Georgia from the corresponding mobile handset. Outgoing calls are billed on a minute of use basis. There is no called-party-pays service at present. Magticom began systematic introduction of service plans providing varying rates for certain common services based on customer-specific parameters such as volume of use, bundled purchases, calling to selected numbers or calling within the Magticom network. Subscribers purchase a Magticom subscriber identity module (SIM) card, which activates their pre-purchased mobile handset and provides it with a Magticom telephone number.

Basic subscriber service consists of a mobile telephone number and ability to make and receive telephone calls anywhere in Georgia from the corresponding mobile handset. All subscribers can send and receive short text messages (SMS) from their Magticom-equipped mobile handset. Magticom has arranged bilateral roaming agreements with more than 150 mobile operators worldwide. Magticom subscribers traveling in countries served by these operators may use their Magticom-equipped mobile telephone to make and receive calls while in the foreign country.

PeterStar

PeterStar is a fixed telephony operator centered in St. Petersburg, Russia and providing services principally in the Northwest Region of Russia. PeterStar provides local telephony services, transit services for other telecommunications operators, and data communications services for businesses and individual customers. These services are delivered to stationary locations via copper, fiber optic or wireless loop connections.

PeterStar provides conventional and IP-based voice telephony services to its business and residential customers, as well as a variety of data communication, digital transport and Internet access services. It also sells premises-based voice telephone systems and data routing systems, to arrange connection of its larger business customers to PeterStar’s network and to meet these customers’ internal communication needs. It offers several pre-paid calling cards, enabling their users to make long distance voice over IP (VoIP) calls or to access Internet service providers from any conventional telephone. PeterStar’s network is interconnected with the networks of other major Russian telephony operators, as well as domestic and international IP and VoIP operators.

This segment operates a digital, fiber optic telecommunication network that is interconnected with incumbent St. Petersburg and Moscow public telephony operators and with various mobile telephone, long distance and domestic and international IP-service operators. PeterStar has deployed approximately 2,200 kilometers of fiber optic cable in the St. Petersburg region and 80 kilometers of fiber optic cable in Moscow. PeterStar also operates facilities capable of creating fixed wireless connections to St. Petersburg subscribers and it leases copper wire facilities from the incumbent St. Petersburg telephony operator (North West Telecom) to reach certain subscribers. PeterStar maintains wideband transport facilities between its switching nodes in Moscow and St. Petersburg and wideband facilities to its IP switching nodes in London and New York. These transport facilities have enabled PeterStar to service its customers’ Russian inter-city trafficking requirements and to provide international IP access services.

PeterStar has also introduced its own data transport, Internet and VoIP services. These new generation services meet the steadily expanding demand for data and IP-based trafficking among commercial customers and the significant growth in residential Internet access. Such services provide a low-cost, high-function alternative to traditional circuit switched telephony.

PeterStar’s customers are businesses and residential consumers in St. Petersburg and the other Russian cities in which PeterStar has established branches or otherwise acquired an operating presence. It offers to these customers conventional voice telephony services as well as a variety of data, digital transport and Internet-based communications services. Its original service offering is conventional voice telephony, through which a subscriber at a fixed location is provided with a publicly accessible telephone number and the capability to make and receive voice telephone calls. In the Vasilievsky Island district of St. Petersburg and the city of Pskov, PeterStar serves as the principal local provider of residential telephone services, and is required to sell such services at tariff rates set by the Russian regulatory authorities. Telephony services for business customers and all data communication, transport and Internet-based services are sold at rates set by competitive market conditions.

Businesses in St. Petersburg and other Northwest Russia regional cities represent PeterStar’s primary market. PeterStar offers business customers integrated high-quality voice and data communications services on a competitively priced basis. In this capacity, PeterStar serves as an independent and competitive alternative to the incumbent local telephony operator. PeterStar is also the primary provider of fixed residential telephony services on a regulated price basis in the Vasilievsky Island district of St. Petersburg and, through its recently acquired Pskov subsidiary, in the city of Pskov. In this capacity, PeterStar operates fragments of public service telephone network in these areas.

PeterStar’s business telephony subscribers are also the primary customers for its data communication, digital transport and VoIP or other Internet-based services. Residential telephony subscribers are offered dial-up Internet access and low cost VoIP Internet-based telephony services.

PeterStar maintains commercial relationships with other telephony and IP-based operators for the purpose of exchanging traffic with these other operators. These operators pay PeterStar to terminate traffic from their subscribers on PeterStar’s network. Conversely, PeterStar pays these operators to arrange termination of PeterStar customer traffic at remote destinations on the other operators’ network. PeterStar offers premises-based equipment to its business customers. Such equipment supports a variety of high-function forms of interconnection with PeterStar’s voice telephony and data service, as well as supporting a customer’s internal voice and data communication systems. PeterStar also offers business customers planning and engineering services connected with arrangement of the customer’s overall communication system. It provides telephony and data communication services by arranging suitable connecting links between its core switching and transport network and a customer’s premises.

PeterStar provides conventional local, national and international voice telephony services as its core line of business. Customer connection to the national and international telephone network is provided via the customer’s connection to PeterStar’s network. Telephone numbers, obtained from the local incumbent operator for PeterStar’s exclusive use and recognized within the national telephone numbering system of Russia, are assigned to the customers. Voice communication to and from parties not served by PeterStar’s network, including local calls to/from subscribers of other network operators, are arranged via PeterStar’s interconnection with other Russian and international carriers.

PeterStar offers an array of digital and data communication services designed principally for use by business customers. These services exploit the data transport capabilities of PeterStar’s extensive network and are an increasingly frequent adjunct to business voice communication. These services are provided via high-capacity digital links (leased lines) between the customer’s premises and PeterStar’s backbone network. Services delivered via these links include: dedicated point-to-point channels of various capacities for the customer’s private data or voice communication, ISDN connections enabling fixed format multi-channel voice and data communication with digital controls, frame relay and ATM services enabling data communication among distributed points via a shared data network, and high speed IP access to the Internet. PeterStar also provides high capacity connecting links for Internet-based value added service providers. Through their PeterStar IP link, these service providers can exchange Internet traffic with users around the world.

PeterStar also offers data and Internet focused services designed for consumers that are available by dialing special access numbers from any conventional telephone. It provides other carriers with the means to terminate traffic destined for PeterStar’s voice telephony subscribers. PeterStar is an official distributor of Avaya equipment, a premises-based voice telephony system capable of serving internal communications requirements of business customers. PeterStar also sells Ericsson, Cisco and General Datacom equipment, which is usable for implementing a variety of premises-based voice and data communications solutions.

Telecom Georgia

Telecom Georgia is a long-distance transit operator in Tbilisi, Georgia. Telecom Georgia’s customers are ordinary fixed and mobile telephone subscribers in Georgia, other telephony operators in Georgia and international telephony carriers. Telecom Georgia competes in the retail long distance services market with its 810-accessed service. Georgian telephone subscribers, both businesses and consumers, can dial this access prefix primarily when making international long distance calls. Telecom Georgia completes the call via an interconnecting link it has pre-arranged with an international carrier serving the country of the call’s destination. It provides itemized, post-paid billing of its retail customers’ long distance calls. It also sells pre-paid calling cards usable from telephones within and outside Georgia.

Telecom Georgia also provides long distance call services on a wholesale basis to other Georgian operators. The operators can send their general long distance traffic to Telecom Georgia, while billing their calling subscribers a general long distance rate.

Telecom Georgia’s call terminating services are also available to other Georgia telephony operators. Telecom Georgia’s interconnected inter-operator network enables calls to be exchanged among these domestic operators for purposes other than international long distance calling. Telecom Georgia offers telephone subscribers certain value-added services, including Internet access and information services.

Cable Television

Ayety television is a cable television provider in Tbilisi, Georgia. Ayety offers multi-channel video programming to subscribers in Tbilisi, Georgia. Programming is delivered either via wireless point-to-multi-point broadcast (MMDS) or over coaxial cable to the subscriber’s premises. A basic channel suite and certain premium programming are available to subscribers equipped for MMDS reception. Coaxial cable subscribers can obtain the basic channel suite. Subscribers pay a monthly fee for services. Ayety obtains video programming content from local broadcast sources and satellite downlinks.

The Company competes with Geocell, Global One, Georgia Online, PTT, Golden Telecom, ComStar, Equant and Metrocom.

Formerly known as Actava Group Inc

Business Line
Holding company that owns interests in telecommunications and media operations in the Republic of Georgia
Subsidiary
LANDMET CORPORATION
Advisor
KPMG LLP
IPO date
11/26/2002
US SIC Code
4813
Company Address
8000, Tower Point Drive

City province or state postal code
28227, CHARLOTTE, NC
Phone: +1 704 321 7380
Fax: +1 704 845 1835
Country address: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Website url: www.metromedia-group.com