Russia’s largest social media community, VKontakte, got here below state management after a sequence of transactions gave a majority stake to corporations related to the state-owned fuel monopoly Gazprom.
Boris Dobrodeev, CEO of VK, VKontakte’s father or mother firm, mentioned on Friday. Go downThe day after Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s USM Group introduced that it had offered its stake in VK to Sogaz, an affiliate of insurance coverage firm Gazprom, Gazprom Media additionally introduced that it had acquired shares.
The 2 share management of VK, previously generally known as Mail.ru, and different widespread manufacturers in the community, such because the social media platform Odnoklassniki. Offering messaging and information, V Kontakte has roughly 100 million energetic customers, making it Europe’s largest social media community. Similarweb.
The Kremlin lately stepped up a decade-long marketing campaign to assert management of the Web. Up to now, the Kremlin has elevated engagement with home Web corporations.
September, Apple and Google app shops Removed the strategy voting app Created by supporters of opposition chief Alexei Navalny, who was imprisoned previous to parliamentary elections after strain from the Kremlin.
Sogaz is taken into account Gazprom’s insurance coverage sector and counts its shareholders as Eurikovalchuk, a detailed ally of President Vladimirputin.
Russian information retailers RBC and The Bell have said that VK’s head and successor to Dobrodeev is Vladimir Kirienko, the pinnacle of Russia’s nationwide communications group Rostelecom and the son of Putin’s deputy chief aide. Was quoted.
Analysts at VTB Capital mentioned that Gazprom-linked constructions now dominate VK’s stakeholders, however “at this stage it’s clear how adjustments in management will have an effect on VK. Not. “
“The change in VK’s precise controlling shareholders doesn’t imply a change in the corporate’s fundamental valuation, however we anticipate additional adjustments in the corporate that might drive the rise in inventory costs.” VTB Capital analysts write. ..
Alexei Miller, CEO of Gazprom and chairman of Sogaz, described VK as a “promising funding,” Interfax reported.
“Transactions are based mostly on market situations,” he added. “Because of the transaction, I observe … Nobody controlling authorized entity has been created.”
Usmanov, a former Arsenal shareholder, determined to promote VK, following a disagreement with state lender Sberbank over a $ 1.6 billion three way partnership involving a number of corporations below VK. I’m. Reported by FT March.
USM mentioned it can give attention to different corporations in the group, such because the metals, mining and telecommunications sectors.
Since Moscow has lately used regulation enforcement businesses to deal with on-line objections to regulate Russia’s Web, slow down Fully ban some web sites or sure VPNs and apps.
In latest months, it has been making an attempt to focus on overseas web giants with fines and proceedings to take away some content material and power them to adjust to native knowledge legal guidelines. It has assembled this impetus to spice up Western Web corporations as a protector of what they describe as “digital sovereignty.”
However it additionally seeks to play a number one position in home Web corporations. Russia’s largest expertise firm, Yandex, established a particular basis in 2019 after prolonged negotiations with the Kremlin on its company construction. The Basis might take away Yandex’s management if that is taken under consideration, amongst different powers, for the nationwide curiosity.
Pavel Durov, the founding father of VKontakte, left Russia in 2014 after claiming that the Kremlin-friendly oligarch had pressured him to promote his stake in a social media firm. Durov then turned to the event of a Telegram messaging app that the Russian communication watchdog tried to ban in 2018 and didn’t.
Mr Sogaz mentioned Thursday that Usmanov’s USM had acquired a forty five% stake in MF Applied sciences, a way of holding a 57.3% stake in VK’s voting rights. Gazprommedia mentioned on Friday that it had acquired the shares transferred from Gazprombank. Gazprombank had beforehand bought 36 p.c of MF Applied sciences.
Gazprom takes majority stake in Russia’s biggest social media site Source link Gazprom takes majority stake in Russia’s biggest social media site