Russia’s MegaFon has formed a new venture that will expand its offering across several industries, partnering with bank Gazprombank, state-owned Rostec and investment firm USM Holdings.
The newly formed JSC MF Technologies will focus on developing digital technologies that will enable companies to modernise their operations and align them across industries. In addition, it will create an investment fund dedicated to supporting innovative technology start-ups.
A statement from MegaFon confirmed that the company’s first objective was to accelerate the creation of a Russian “financial digital platform” that would allow for the further development of digital banking services, along with other corporate-focused offerings.
MegaFon CEO Sergey Soldatenkov said: “MegaFon endeavours to play a leading role in Russia’s digital future. Today we can observe the integration of efforts of the leaders in the telecom, high-tech and financial sectors to create new digital products and services as a worldwide trendsetter.”
The new company will initially be wholly owned by MegaFon subsidiary Lefbord. MegaFon will contribute financially to it via a 5% stake in mail.ru, an online services provider. Lefbord will transfer the holding to JSC MF Technologies, then shares in the new company will be sold to the three partners. The deal will see MegaFon receive $245 million in cash, which it will use to pay down debt.
Once the deal is complete, MegaFon will hold a 45% stake in JSC MF Technologies via Lefbord. Gazprombank will hold 35%, Rostec 11%, and USM 9%.