The investors who hesitate to directly invest in Russia can still capitalize on a high growth of its Internet usage through a Western investment vehicle.
One is a Swedish holding company Kontakt East Holding (KEH). It aims to raise some $16 million through a new share issue and invest the funds into building up its presence in directory service and consumer e-commerce in Russia.
In 2006, Kontakt East listed its shares on First North stock exchange in Sweden and bought-out a Russian directory business of Eniro of Sweden for EUR 5 million
In August 2007, the company acquired Yell.ru (YPI Yellow Pages Limited), the leading provider of directory services in St. Petersburg and Perm, for $18 million (or a multiple of 1.8 to Yell.ru’s forecasted sales in 2007 and multiple of 9 to EBITDA). The deal strengthened KEH’s position as the largest provider of directory media services in Russia.
In October 2007, Kontakt East launched its first e-commerce website – Avito.ru where consumers and businesses can buy and sell goods and services over the Internet through classifieds.