Alexander Mamut’s, A&NN Investments Fund has announced that it has become the sole owner of the Rambler & Comedia holding. Previously, the Fund owned 50% of Rambler & Co, half the company was owned by businessman Vladimir Potanin. Conditions were not disclosed. Alexander Mamut will pay double for the 50% stake in the Rambler comapared to the agreement made three years ago. That is another $295 million
– a sum which both partnesr had agreed to back in 2013 when they combined their media assets. Then Potanin has invested in the Rambler & Co, the Internet portal Rambler and publishing house “Afisha”, while Mamut’s company invested into “Soup” (the blog hosting Livejournal, etc.). Potanin’s assets earned more and costed more, but each of the partners received equal shares, and the managing partner was actually Mamut. In exchange for that, Potanin had received the right to sell his shares to Mamut at a fixed price of $295 million in 2.5 years. Shareholder agreement’s option expired in December 2016.
The deal was originally fixed in dollars, and in connection with the fall of the ruble value of the Mamut’s option has doubled in rubles – from 9.7 billion rubles (this figure was recorded in official documents of Mr. Potanin’s media holding “Profmedia”) to 18.1 billion rubles. Mr. Mamut tried to negotiate with Mr. Potanin several times in order to reduce the size of the payment for Rambler & Co, or to prolong the option date, but couldn’t do so.
“The 100% ownership of Rambler & Co for us is part of the implementation of a long-term strategy, said Marina Grenberg the A&NN Investments Fund Director .”Internet and media” sector is one of the key areas of investment for the Fund. We see great potential in the growth of this sector in Russia in general and in the prospects of development of Rambler & Co group – with access to a broad audience, as well as increased of technological and product expertise over the last three years “.
While creating the Rambler & Co holding Mr. Mamut had promised it will hold the 3rd largest audience in the Internet. In 2013 the holding was the fifth, and today it is the fourth after “Mail.ru Group”, “Yandex” and “Google”, as Mediascope data shows. The financial performance of Rambler & Co is not disclosed. According to “SPARK-Interfax”, in 2015 the main entities of the holding earned about 4.4 billion rubles while almost all projects (except “Tape.ru” and “Newspaper.ru”) in this period were unprofitable.