The Dutch investment holding Prosus leaves Russia’s VK board by disposing of its shares

The Dutch investment holding Prosus, the owner of Ukrainian e-commerce platform OLX, left the shareholder board of Russian VK (formerly known as VKontakte). According to VK, the share of 25.7% was written off free of charge in favor of the Russian company.

The details

  • Prosus left the shareholder board of VK, transferring its share (25.7%) to the Russian company free of charge.
  • After that, VK sold these shares to the management at market value — for 24.8 billion rubles (about $410 million, although the correctness of its conversion into dollars at the official exchange rate of the National Bank of Russia raises questions).
  • On March 7, Prosus asked its representatives on the board of directors of VK to resign. And already on March 8, Prosus announced plans to write off its stake in VK. At that time, the value of the company’s shares were estimated at $700 million.
  • AIN.Capital reminds that on October 17, Prosus announced that it was leaving the Russian market and sold the website Avito. The amount of the transaction amounted to 151 billion rubles or approximately $2.4 billion, and the new owner was the former general director of “Megaphone” Ivan Tavrin.

Why is it important?

Another Russian business that also belonged to Prosus — Avito — got into scandals several times with the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. At the time, the website was selling Ukrainian items stolen by the Russian military, and also recruited mercenaries for the war in Ukraine.

However, despite public pressure and accusations of direct support for war and looting, Prosus refused to leave the Russian market for a long time and sold the website only in October.

With VK, there was no such serious public demand, but the holding still left the Russian company, simply disposing of all of its shares, that is, without receiving any money for it.