Prosus NV (PRX.AS), a Dutch technology investor, announced on Friday that it would terminate relations with its Russian online marketplace Avito and would not seek to profit from its ownership of the company.
Until Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Avito was one of Prosus’s most significant ventures, with a valuation of over $6 billion. With a statement, Prosus stated that it will “stop all engagement in its Russian business,” with Avito continuing to function as a separate entity with its own board and management team.
“In these conditions, Prosus will have no day-to-day engagement in the operations of the business and will neither invest further nor seek to profit economically from Avito’s interest.”
Despite being “appalled” by the invasion, which Moscow describes as a “special military operation,” Prosus initially decided to keep running Avito, citing its 4,000 employees. After it was discovered that Avito had published adverts for Russian military jobs, the decision was criticised.
In a second statement, Avito stated that the legal separation from its previous parent would take many months. It stated that it did not require outside funding and that it would reinvest its own funds in all aspects of its operations.
Naspers’ international Internet assets branch, Prosus N.V., or Prosus, is a Dutch global conglomerate firm. The global investment firm is Europe’s largest consumer Internet firm and one of the world’s largest technology investors. Prosus has a portfolio of worldwide Internet companies that includes financial and food delivery services. More than 1.5 billion people in 89 markets use the products and services of its businesses and investments.
Prosus’ ordinary shares were listed on Euronext Amsterdam and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange as a secondary inward listing in September 2019. Following its IPO, Naspers retained a controlling stake in Prosus, which is now Europe’s largest consumer Internet company by asset value. The company’s stock was said to have “soared on launch,” despite the fact that it was selling at a large discount to its portfolio’s worth.
It is also the largest shareholder in Tencent, a social media platform (30.86 percent ).
Prosus is most known for its 45 percent stake in Tencent, which it acquired in 2001.
In 2019, the company attempted to purchase Just Eat but lost out to Takeaway.com in a bidding war. After VK’s CEO Vladimir Kirienko was placed on a US sanctions list in March 2022, Prosus declared it was writing off its 25.9% ownership (worth around US$700 million).