Megafon will purchase the stake from shareholder Alisher Usmanov. The deal awaits approval from other shareholders and regulators but is expected to close in Q1 2017. Mail.ru will continue to operate on its own listing.
Mail.ru, which was founded in 1999, owns Russia’s most popular social network VKontakte (VK) as well as operating several other email, chat, and cloud services. Naspers and Tencent have stakes in the company. Megafon meanwhile is Russia’s second largest mobile operator.
“The transaction is aimed at achieving significant synergies for both companies, including enhancement of Megafon's digital offering and its distribution, launch of special VKmobile offering for users of VK social network, and other potential initiatives,” reads a statement from the companies.