The U.S.-based industrial group Access Industries, which invests in natural resources, chemicals, telecoms, media, and real estate, has acquired a majority stake in the Russian telematics pioneer AutoLocator.
Founded in 2000 by Megapage wireless system distributor, AutoLocator was the first company in Russia to launch vehicle anti-theft systems utilizing both radio and GPS/GSM location systems supported by chase teams and a 24/7 command and control center. AutoLocator reports on its corporate web-site that its total recovered vehicle value has reached more than $140 million.
Alex Genin, Managing Director of Access Industries CIS told about its reasons for the acquisition in the company’s press release: “With Russia becoming the largest auto market in Europe, AutoLocator provides an excellent platform for Access to take part in this increasingly important sector of the economy. Within the next few years the telematic unit and service will be considered a standard feature on all cars.”
Access Industries, which was founded in 1986, is chaired by Len Blavatnik. In 2007, Access Industries together with Atlantic Bridge Ventures acquired LogicaCMG’s telecoms products business for $525 million and formed Acision. In 2004, Access Industries invested into the largest Russian producer of television series AMEDIA.
According to business daily Kommersant, Access Industries has invested into a recent acquisition of film distribution and marketing companies as well as film libraries of Mel Gibson’s Icon Group by Stadium.