Prosus gives up $403m stake in Russia’s VK social network


Prosus NV gave up its stake in Russia’s largest social network for nothing, walking away from a company run by an executive under US sanctions.

VK sold the shares acquired from the Dutch e-commerce company to its management team at market price in a deal valued at 24.8 billion roubles ($403 million), VK said in a statement Thursday.

Prosus, which owned a 27% stake in VK, said in March it would write off $769 million following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Trading of VK’s shares in London was suspended and its Chief Executive Officer Vladimir Kiriyenko was sanctioned by the US Treasury. He’s the son of one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top aides, Sergei Kiriyenko, and VK is controlled by companies affiliated with Gazprom PJSC, the state-owned gas giant.

Prosus sold its largest Russian asset, the classified app Avito, for 151 billion roubles last month.

VK has more than 49 million daily users in Russia and has expanded its dominance in the market as the government targeted foreign social media platforms during an internet crackdown.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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