The PPF Group, founded and owned by Czech billionaire Petr Kellner, plans to sell its 49 percent stake in Generali PPF Holding, an insurance joint venture PPF established with Generali, which owns the majority stake. Kellner is also in talks to sell his stake in the Russian insurer Ingosstrakh to VTB bank for Kč 10 billion, the server regiony24.cz reported Wednesday. Generali PPF Holding is currently valued at a little over €23 billion.
Sting, the former front man of the group The Police, has reportedly been booked to play at the Christmas Party of the PPF Group, which was founded and is over 95 percent owned by the richest Czech, Petr Kellner, who established his fortune during the wild privatizations in Russia in the 1990s.
With a large share flotation looming VTB, Russia’s second-largest state-controlled bank, has perturbed investors by acquiring the distressed Bank of Moscow. VTB Group’s CEO Andrei Kostin has responded by promising the bank will make no more investments in the mid-term. A month or two ago Kostin was talking about plans for large-scale investments in Russia and Home Credit was reportedly a target.
PPF Group and Russian entrepreneur Igor Yakovlev officially announced Monday they have settled a deal through which the PPF Group has taken full control over Eldorado, the retail chain distributing household appliances and consumer electronics. The parties agreed that Yakovlev, the founder of the business, sell his remaining stake of 50 percent minus 1 share to PPF Group, which had already acquired a controlling stake of 50 percent plus 1 share in Eldorado in October 2009 in a debt-for-equity swap that valued the stake at $300 million.
PPF Group said it has already obtained the approval of the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) regarding the acquisition of Eldorado. The price of the recent transaction will not been disclosed.
In a lengthy interview with the Russian daily Vedomosti, Ivan Svítek, the head of Russian Home Credit & Finance Bank (HCFB) — owned by Czech billionaire Petr Kellner’s PPF group — has again denied speculation that the PPF group intends to sell its consumer loans provider in Russia. To the contrary, Svítek said HCFB is planning to open more outlets.
PPF Group’s retail loan company Home Credit plans to cash in on rising incomes in China and has ambitions to provide up to 10 million loans annually within three years. Having received a license to operate independently on the market, the company is well positioned to become a major player in the sector.
Under a month after press reports emerged that the PPF Group’s retail loan provider Home Credit was in negotiations to sell its Russian operations, the company has announced that it has struck a deal to sell its Ukrainian branch.