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Mail.ru boosts stake in Russian social network Vkontakte.ru

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March 21
7:18 AM 2014

Internet firm Mail.ru entered a deal to acquire an additional 12% stake in Russian social network VKontakte.com (VK), according to Bloomberg. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed in the said report.

UralSib Capital analyst Konstantin Below remarked: "Even though Mail.ru won't get operational control in VKontakte, this deal is good as it's a move in the company's strategy of consolidating social networks in Russia."

Under the terms of the transaction, Mail.ru will buy the said stake from Megafon chief Ivan Tavrin. This will bring Mail.ru's total holding to 52%. The remaining 48% is held by Russian investor United Capital Parters (UCP). The deal, however, will have no bearing on VK's operational control, VentureBeat explained.

Several months ago, UCP had a fallout with the Mail.ru Group and VK founder Pavel Durov. The feud has escalated to the point that the parties have already expressed their intention to file lawsuits against each other, the report added.

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