Mail.Ru cuts stakes in Groupon, Facebook, Zygna

MOSCOW Fri Nov 9, 2012 8:54am EST

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian email-to-social networking group Mail.Ru cut its stakes in U.S. internet firms Groupon, Facebook, and Zygna, according to the company's website.

Mail.Ru now has a 0.52 percent stake in the world's largest social networking site Facebook, 0.16 percent of U.S. game maker Zynga and 0.84 percent of daily deal website Groupon.

As of October 30, it had a 1.17 percent stake in Zynga, a 0.75 percent stake in Facebook and 4.12 percent of shares in Groupon.

It could raise between $200 million and $250 million from the sales, said Anastasia Obukhova, an analyst at VTB Capital in Moscow. Mail.Ru declined to comment on the disposals.

"We've always been very clear that Groupon, Zynga and Facebook, positioned inside of Mail, are financial assets, not strategic ones," said Matthew Hammond, the investor relations director at Mail.Ru Group.

At the end of October, Mail.Ru, part-owned by metals tycoon Alisher Usmanov, sold 16 million Facebook shares, worth around $370 million, on top of a more than $700 million sale as part of Facebook's initial public offering. That was followed by a hefty dividend payout to Mail.Ru's shareholders.

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova and Anastasia Teterevleva; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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