Digital Sky Technologies (DST), an Internet investment group run by Yuri Milner, has obtained a 50.6% majority stake in Mail.ru by acquiring an additional 15% stake in the company from Tiger Global Management, reported Vedomosti. The deal could be valued at between $180 million and $200 million. That may put Mail.ru‘s IPO plans in 2008 on hold. It’s also reported that DST could be selling a controlling stake in itself to Alisher Usmanov, founder of Metalloinvest and owner of Kommersant publishing house. Kommersant recently merged its online newspaper Gazeta.ru into LiveJournal‘s owner SUP.
Mail.ru is Russia’s leading web-site with 6.2 million daily visitors and 14.7 million monthly visitors, says TNS Web Index.
According to Mail.ru‘s 32%-owner Naspers of South Africa, Mail.ru generated revenues of $56 million with EBITDA margin of 64% in 2007. Mail.ru is the 3rd largest Russian Internet company by revenues, after Yandex and Rambler.
DST owns significant minority stakes in two leading Russian social networks Odnoklassniki.ru and Vkontakte, the leading Russian online recruitment site HeadHunter, and the others. The business magazine SmartMoney put a value of DST‘s assets on between $1.1 billion and $3 billion, which is expected to grow to $5 billion in 2010.