MOSCOW, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Russia's biggest mobile phone operator MTS has entered the event ticketing market by buying the country's two biggest ticket selling firms for more than $60 million.
MTS, part of the Sistema conglomerate, said the move was in line with its digital transformation strategy as telecoms companies worldwide seek to diversify away from traditional calls and messages business.
Reuters reported in December that MTS was in talks to buy Ticketland for between 3 billion roubles and 3.5 billion roubles ($52 million to $60 million).
MTS paid 3.25 billion roubles for 100 percent of Ticketland, it said on Monday.
In addition, MTS bought a 78.2 percent stake in Ponominalu in a deal that valued the business at 495 million roubles, with an option to acquire the remaining shares by the end of 2020.
The two companies have a combined 25 percent share of the $400 million event ticketing market, MTS said, adding that it would consolidate their results in its financial statements.
The integration of the ticket sales business will expand MTS's range of digital services to about 78.5 million mobile subscribers in Russia, while the analysis of mobile subscribers' data will help to improve ticket sales, MTS said. ($1 = 57.9780 roubles)
Reporting by Maria Kiselyova and Anastasia Teterevleva; Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin and Maria Kiselyova; Editing by David Goodman