29 Jul 2020 12:20

Sberbank to invest another 2 bln rubles in Rambler Group, up stake to 55% from 46.5%

MOSCOW. July 29 (Interfax) - Sberbank plans to invest an additional 2 billion rubles in Rambler Group, increasing its stake in the Internet company to 55% from 46.5%, Russia's leading lender said in a press release.

"As part of the additional financing, Sberbank will buy the 6.95% treasury stake from the Rambler Group that the group had acquired from financial investor Era Capital. In addition to buying out 6.95% directly from Rambler Group, which will increase Sberbank's interest to 53.5%, the bank will also acquire a 1.5% stake directly from A&NN;, the second shareholder of Rambler Group," the bank said.

A portion of the investment will be injected into the accelerated growth of Okko's market share to make the multimedia service the largest over-the-top media platform in Russia as soon as in 2021. "Also, by investing in products and technologies of Rambler&Co;'s media service projects, the group is set to strengthen its leadership in the online media industry and the market for e-tickets to events," the bank said.

Okko's paying audience has tripled from what it was before the deal with Sberbank, "largely due to the joint projects and distribution through the Sberbank channels," Rambler Group CEO Rafael Abramyan was quoted as saying in the press release.

"Since then, the audience of Rambler&Co; media service projects has soared 20% to reach 66 million in March 2020, while the number of tickets sold in 2019 through the Rambler/Kassa online ticketing office nearly doubled from the previous year reaching 24 million," Abramyan said.

Sberbank closed the deal to acquire 46.5% of Rambler Group on August 26, 2019. The stakes of A&NN; and Era Capital were 46.5% and 7%, respectively. The price of the deal was not disclosed. Sberbank invested cash in Rambler's equity that was used to develop digital services and technology platforms.