9 Oct 2019 12:49

Alibaba, Mail.ru, MegaFon, RDIF close deal on AliExpress Russia, plan to create e-wallet

MOSCOW. Oct 9 (Interfax) - The Mail.ru Group, the payment system Alipay, USM, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), and MegaFon have created a joint venture in the sphere of electronic payments for Russian users, Payment JV, the group said.

This followed the creation of the e-commerce JV AliExpress Russia by Alibaba, Mail.ru, MegaFon, and the RDIF.

"The new joint venture for payments (Payment JV) will work to accelerate the development of Russia's digital economy by upgrading the country's digital payment services," the press release reads.

The Mail.ru Group will transfer its assets Money.Mail.ru and VK Pay to the JV and become its biggest shareholder, with a 40% share. Other details of the deal have not been disclosed.

The sides signed a framework agreement on the creation of AliExpress Russia in fall 2018; at the time, the deal was expected to be closed in Q1 2019. A binding agreement was signed on June 5. Deadlines were pushed back repeatedly. Alibaba holds 55.7% in the JV, MegaFon 24.3%, Mail.ru 15%, and the RDIF 5%.

Two co-directors will manage the JV: the head of AliExpress Russia, Liu Wei, and the first deputy head of the Mail.ru Group, Dmitry Sergeyev.