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Russian bank VTB buys 29.1% stake in Magnit for 138B Russian rubles

Russian retailer PJSC Magnit said Feb. 16 that its founder and largest shareholder Sergey Galitskiy has agreed to sell his 29.1% stake in the company to a subsidiary of Russian bank JSC VTB Bank for approximately 138 billion Russian rubles in cash.

Galitskiy will also step down from his positions as chairman of the management board and CEO of the company, Magnit said. Magnit's Chairman and CFO Khachatur Pombukhchan will succeed Galitskiy as the company's CEO and chairman of the management board.

Galitskiy will sell his 29,656,200 shares in Magnit. The deal is subject to approval by Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service.

In its statement on the deal, VTB said Magnit is the largest retail network in Russia in terms of store count. "Over 20-year history of the company’s successful development practically reflected the transition of Russian product retail industry from unorganized, traditional retail to a modern network sales format in line with best international practices," the bank said, adding that VTB has developed "large expertise" in the retail sector through its other investments.

Andrey Kostin, chairman and president of VTB Bank's Management Board, noted the importance of technology and the ongoing transformation of the retail industry in terms of consumer preferences and demands.

"In Russia, we see vast potential for this segment's perspectives, and using VTB Group's expertise and financial resources we plan to take Magnit to a new level of its development," he said.

As of Feb. 15, US$1 was equivalent to 56.58 Russian rubles.