Russia’s Mail.Ru Sells Remaining Facebook Stock for $525 million

By: Zain Nabi  |   September 10th, 2013   |   Business, News

Head of Russian internet firm Mail.Ru Alisher Usmanov and the richest man of Russia recently sold the remaining shares of Facebook Inc for $525 million which he bought a small stake in 2009 for $200 million. The company sold some of the shares last year in the U.S. group’s flotation and also to U.S. daily deal website Groupon and game maker Zynga.


“This is consistent with everything they’ve said since their IPO, which is these were non-core investments and they would dispose of them at an appropriate time and return cash to shareholders,” said Renaissance Capital analyst David Ferguson. “It is an ongoing recognition that their focus is a core Russia social, communication and gaming business, and that’s where they will continue to allocate their time.”


Mail.Ru after rolling out the DST funds of social media investor Yuri Milner went in public in 2010, said that they have also recently sold out their remaining 14.2 million shares of Facebook that are equal to the stakes of less than 1% in July and August. According to VTB analyst Anastasia Obukhova this is the best time to sell the shares.


Ferguson, the number one accounting firm said, that they expect the company to use the money to pay special dividend at the end of the year 2013. According to them the company now has about $780 million of cash. In past Mail.Ru also used cash to pay dividends. The company in February announced special dividends of $4.30 per share, worth $899 million, after the sale of Groupon, Zynga and Facebook shares.


The details of the sale of previous shares of Facebook were not disclosed by the company and they also refused to discuss what they have decided with the latest sale proceeds. Also, the company declined to comment on its plans for the QIWI stake.

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