26 Jan 2022 16:17

Sberbank planning to buy Stockmann business in Russia as part of fashion segment development

MOSCOW. Jan 26 (Interfax) - Sber and Iakov Panchenko, owner of Stockmann (Russia), have signed an agreement of intent to develop the fashion segment in Sber's ecosystem together, the lender said in a statement.

"The parties intend to sign a binding agreement under which Sber will acquire a 100% stake in Stockmann in 1H 2022 after conducting a comprehensive investment review and obtaining the necessary corporate approvals from the parties to the transaction and approval from Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia," Sberbank said.

Sberbank is a creditor of Stockmann, according to the company's financial statements. The company violated covenants under the loan agreement, but received a waiver from the bank. Sberbank holds 100% of the shares in Stockmann as collateral.

Sberbank CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board Herman Gref talked about Sberbank's interest in developing the fashion segment within Sber's ecosystem in November 2021. "We're looking in this direction now, of course, and fashion needs to be developed. There are currently no such specific plans, but the guys are actively working on how to do this so that we do eventually have this assortment. As soon as we have something in this area, we'll let you know," Gref said.

"Stockmann and the SberMegaMarket multi-category marketplace are set to become strategic partners and integrate with each other. Combining the companies' expertise will help strengthen Sber's position in the e-commerce industry, multiply the proportion made up by fashion GMV in the ecosystem's total e-com services turnover manyfold, and implement a number of new opportunities for the segment's development," the statement said.

"We hope that this is the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial cooperation, thanks to which the GMV of the fashion segment will account for about 20% of the total turnover of the marketplace in the next few years," SberMegaMarket CEO Solomon Kunin was quoted as saying in the statement.

"I am certain that the development of the fashion category within Sber's e-com industry will serve as a key growth driver. What we do is aligned with the global trend toward building new omni-channel services of a different quality in the category that buyers view as essential," Lev Khasis, first deputy chairman of Sberbank's Executive Board, said.

"The concept of a strategic partnership between two strong players implies synergistic development - Stockmann will be a fashion operator on the marketplace while still developing and strengthening its own business, including through the stronger expertise in e-commerce that SberMegaMarket has," Panchenko, who is chairman of the board at Stockmann, said. SberMegaMarket's integration with Stockmann will allow for an expansion of sales channels for the company's partners by making entry onto the marketplace as comfortable as possible while maintaining a familiar environment for them, he said.

"Stockmann is a Russian fashion retailer specializing in the medium to premium segments. Today the company operates in Russia, featuring over 600 brands in the following categories: clothing, footwear, children's goods, and homeware. Stockmann currently has 12 offline stores in Russia: in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Murmansk," the statement said. The company had a turnover of 10 billion rubles in 2021, it said.

According to the SPARK-Interfax system, the revenue of Stockmann to Russian Accounting Standards in 2020 fell to 5.67 billion rubles from 7.15 billion rubles in 2019, and net loss rose from 312.7 million rubles to 978.7 million rubles. The company's average staff number in 2020 was around 950 employees.