22 Jan 2024 10:57

Qiwi to sell Russian assets to mgmt led by Protopopov for 23.75 bln rubles

MOSCOW. Jan 22 (Interfax) - Qiwi will sell its Russian assets, consolidated under JSC Qiwi, to management as part of the restructuring of the group's business, the payment services group reported.

Qiwi's Russian business will be sold to Hong Kong-based Fusion Factor Fintech, which is wholly owned by Andrei Protopopov, the CEO of Qiwi plc.

The price of the transaction will be 23.75 billion rubles, which includes a discount for foreign ownership and the heightened level of uncertainty in the wake of the temporary Central Bank of Russia restrictions on certain Qiwi Bank operations, the group said in a press release.

Payment on the deal will be made in several installments over four years, including 11.875 billion rubles within four months after entering into the transaction and the remaining 11.875 billion rubles in four equal annual installments starting in the fourth quarter of 2024.

The deal has been approved by Russian regulators and Qiwi's board of directors, the group said.

Upon closing of the transaction, Protopopov will immediately resign his offices as a director and the CEO of Qiwi but will continue to head the business of JSC Qiwi. The group's current CFO, Alexei Maschenkov will be appointed as the successor CEO of Qiwi.

The Russian business of JSC Qiwi includes Qiwi Bank, Qiwi Wallet, Qiwi Business, money transfer system Contact, ROWI Group, Realweb Group, Flocktory, Taxiaggregator and IntellectMoney. The international business has a presence in Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates and other countries and continues to develop under Qiwi. The restructuring of the business will enable Qiwi to maintain a listing on Nasdaq and the Moscow Exchange, the group said.

"The management buyout marks a pivotal moment for the Company. The Board has been very careful when making its decision on the form of divestment given the complex and ambiguous position of our diverse shareholders. In the end, we believe the management buyout of our Russian operations will benefit everyone involved and represents a fair and best possible outcome for all shareholders taken as a whole," Qiwi plc board chairman Sergei Solonin was quoted as saying in the press release.