8 Nov 2018 13:38

Sistema buying nearly all of Zarenkov's shares in Etalon group - paper

MOSCOW. Nov 8 (Interfax) - AFK Sistema will become the largest shareholder in Etalon Group after buying almost the whole stake in the developer owned by the family of its founder Vyacheslav Zarenkov, Vedomosti reported, quoting sources.

The paper's sources said the parties had reached agreement in principle and that a deal could be announced after November 9, when Etalon Group is due to hold a board meeting.

Another of the paper's sources said a deal might be closed as early as this week.

Sistema declined to comment.

Etalon was founded in 1987 and gradually became one of the leaders in the Northwest Russian residential real estate market. The company held an IPO on the London Stock Exchange in April 2011, valuing it at $1.6 billion or $7 per share. Last year, Zarenkov reduced his stake in the group considerably as the result of two SPOs held in conjunction with Baring Vostok. They sold 12.5% of Etalon's shares on the market in the spring of 2017 at $3.58 each and another 9.5% in the autumn at $3.4 each. The deals left the Zarenkov family with 30.7% of Etalon and Baring with 5.7%.

Vedomosti's sources said Sistema would be buying just under 30% of Zarenkov's stake, meaning it would not have to offer to buy the other shareholders out. The cost of the deal was not disclosed.