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Alibaba, Mail.Ru, MegaFon, RDIF to invest USD 400 mln in Russian commerce venture

Thursday 6 June 2019 | 10:45 AM CET

Alibaba, Mail.Ru Group, MegaFon, and sovereign fund Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) have announced they received approval for their social commerce joint venture.

The joint venture will leverage on the existing businesses of AliExpress Russia, the B2C marketplace owned by Alibaba. Keeping the name of AliExpress Russia, the venture will operate across all ecommerce segments, including cross-border and local marketplaces and first-party retail. It aims to leverage Mail.Ru’s position in Russia’s social media, as well as online gaming, email services, and online communications.

The partnership will offer customers new social experience and provide entrepreneurs with a platform for growth.

The shareholders’ contributions to the AliExpress Russia joint venture have been announced as follows:

  • Alibaba Group will invest USD 100 million and contribute AliExpress Russia into the joint venture;

  • MegaFon will sell its 9.97% economic stake in Mail.Ru Group to Alibaba Group in exchange for a 24.3% stake in the AliExpress Russia joint venture with 30.2% voting rights;

  • Group will contribute its Pandao ecommerce business as well as cash investments of USD 182 million in exchange for a 15% stake in the AliExpress Russia join venture with 18.7% voting rights;

  • the RDIF will invest USD 100 million and may further acquire additional shares of the joint venture from Alibaba Group for USD 194 million.

The original version of this story appeared in East-West Digital News, a partner of The Paypers.

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