Russia's VTB buys 15% stake in car-share service Delimobil

FILE PHOTO: Delimobil car sharing company logo is seen on a vehicle amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Moscow, Russia May 20, 2020. Picture taken May 20, 2020. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) -Russia’s second-largest lender VTB has bought a $75 million minority stake in car-sharing provider Delimobil, the company said on Friday, ahead of its planned stock market listing in New York.

VTB said it would buy a stake of around 15% in Delimobil, which runs a fleet of cars which can be hired by the minute in Russia’s largest cities including Moscow, St Petersburg and Kazan.

Delimobil said in October last year it would sell a stake of up to 10% to investors in a pre-placement ahead of its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange planned in early 2022.

Delimobil, one of Russia’s biggest car-sharing providers along with Yandex.Drive and others, announced its IPO plans in August 2019, saying it would float a 40% stake. It said pre-placements usually take place six to 12 months before the IPO.

On Friday, Delimobil said the funds raised in the deal with VTB would be used for its further development and to strengthen its position in the Russian car-sharing market.

Yuri Soloviev, first deputy president and chairman of VTB Bank’s management board, said the acquisition was the bank’s first foray into the car-sharing sector, according to a statement from Delimobil.

Major Russian banks are diversifying away from their core sources of income. VTB’s closest peer Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, is developing its presence in areas ranging from food delivery and taxi services to cloud computing and cyber security.

Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov Writing Andrey OstroukhEditing by Aurora Ellis and David Holmes