UPDATE 2: VTB buys 29.1% in Magnit for about 138 bln rbl
(Adds details in paragraphs 2–4, 7, last three paragraphs)
SOCHI, Feb 16 (PRIME) -- VTB Bank has acquired a 29.1% stake in Russian retailer Magnit from its founder Sergei Galitsky for about 138 billion rubles, according to Friday statements by the bank’s CEO Andrei Kostin and Magnit.
“We have just signed an agreement to buy a 29.1% stake in retailer Magnit. This way, VTB Group has become the largest shareholder of Magnit company. The value of the deal is about 138 billion rubles,” Kostin said, adding that Galitsky will retain about 3% in the retailer.
Approval by the Federal Antimonopoly Service is required to close the deal, Kostin said. The service said it has not received an application from the bank yet.
Magnit’s shares lost 3% to 4,707 rubles as of 10:10 a.m. Moscow time on the Moscow Exchange. The company said that the 29.1% stake was sold at 4,660.9 per share.
Galitsky will quit the board of directors and the post of CEO, the retailer also said.
VTB’s First Deputy CEO Yury Solovyov said that Magnit’s board of directors will consider Galitsky’s resignation and appointment of the retailer’s CFO Khachatur Pombukhchan to his post later on Friday.
Galitsky said, “In fact, the trigger was that the investors (in Magnit) see the situation differently than the shareholders. I am more focused on profit, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), on low debt. The current market needs other things, needs growth, the number of launches, like-for-like (sales) and aggression.”
Magnit also said that it has no plans to change the dividend policy and will pay dividends to its shareholders in the second half of 2018. The company will also consider organizing a buyback this year.
“The company and the buyer of shares intend to retain the dividend policy and pay dividends to its shareholders in the second half of 2018 already. At the same time, the company plans to study the possibility of fulfilling a buyback plan in 2018,” Magnit said.
Solovyov said that VTB has no plans to raise the stake in Magnit. VTB plans to keep the asset for at least two to three years and has no doubts that the price of Magnit shares will grow in the medium term, he added.
Kostin said that VTB will sell the asset one day. “We will not stay in this asset forever, we will quit it one day.”
VTB has no plans to acquire other retail assets so far, he also added.
(56.5918 rubles – U.S. $1)