23 Apr 2019 10:18

Sberbank/Yandex JV might buy O'Key hypermarkets - paper

MOSCOW. April 23 (Interfax) - Sberbank might be holding negotiations to finance the purchase of the hypermarkets of Russian retailer O'Key on behalf of its joint venture with Internet company Yandex , national daily Kommersant reported on Tuesday, citing two sources in investment circles.

Sberbank and Yandex closed a deal in April 2018 to form a joint venture that will develop the marketplace Beru on the basis of Yandex.Market.

Sberbank is currently studying possibilities for integration of assets, one source said.

The paper's other source estimated that O'Key's hypermarket business could be worth 90% of the value of the whole retailer, not including a premium for control. The retail group's market capitalization on the London Stock Exchange was about $516.6 million on Monday evening, so the hypermarket business could be worth $465 million.

The acquisition of O'Key's hypermarkets would enable the online platform to reduce logistics costs and help develop multichannel sales, increasing their profitability, the paper said.

Earlier in April, Reuters, citing sources, reported that Sberbank was holding negotiations to buy O'Key's hypermarkets in order to subsequently resell them.

The retailer said later that its board of directors is studying various options for its hypermarket business, including the interest in it from Sberbank.