As we previously reported here a couple days on Askbrokers, Alibaba (BABA US) was in process of finalizing a JV with Mail.ru (MAIL LI) and that one should take a closer look at them. Specifically we wrote:
Considering the large population, internet penetration and computer literacy in Russia, these companies could be interesting stocks to follow as potential long plays could be setting up soon.
Investors that feel they “missed the train” on all the high-flying Chinese internet names, have now the opportunity to have a further look at another region that could potentially be high growth.
Today the Alibaba?Mail.ru JV was announced. Techcrunch writes;
Mail.ru, the Russia firm that offers a range of internet services including social media, email and food delivery to 100 million registered users, has teamed up with Alibaba to launch AliExpress Russia, a JV that they hope will function as a “one-stop destination” for communication, social media, shopping and games. Mail.ru backer MegaFon, a telecom firm, and the country’s sovereign wealth fund RDIF (Russian Direct Investment Fund) have also invested undisclosed amounts into the newly-formed organization.
To recap: Alibaba — which launched its AliExpress service in Russia some years ago — will hold 48 percent of the business, with 24 percent for MegaFon, 15 percent for Mail.ru and the remaining 13 percent take by RDIF. In addition, MegaFon has agreed to trade its 10 percent stake in Mail.ru to Alibaba in a transaction that (alone) is worth around $500 million. That would give the joint venture a valuation of around $2 billion.
Mail.Ru (MAIL LI) rallied more than 10% on this news.
As Alibaba (BABA US) properly enters the Russian market, be sure to keep following the stocks in the segment such as Yandex (YNDX US) and Mail.Ru (MAIL LI).