KOMMERSANT. Otkritie Group has consolidated 100% of Contact, one of the largest money transfer systems. A potential beneficiary of this deal could be instant payment system Qiwi. If the parties agree, in exchange for Contact Otkritie Group could get a stake in Qiwi, business daily Kommersant writes.
The fact that Abduljelil Abdulkerimov, Contact's ex-owner, pulled out of the system, is confirmed by data from money transfer system operator and non-banking lending institution Rapida (is 100% owned by Contact, and a 70% interest in Rapida is, in turn, in the hands of Otkritie Group). Dmitry Pashenin replaced Abduljelil Abdulkerimov on the list of those who control 30% of Rapida. Data available at SPARK show, as Kommersant specifies, that he is the general director of Vektor-lizing. This company is affiliated with Otkritie, so the holding, de facto, has gathered 100% of the payment system's capital, the newspaper's sources specify.
The acquisition by Otkritie Group of one of the country's largest payment systems got under way back last May when Russlavbank, which controlled Contact, faced a heavy outflow of liquidity amid searches launched by law-enforcement bodies as its partner banks demanded the system to return urgently their margin deposits. In the long run, Russlavbank had to raise liquidity on the market, including by selling its money transfer system. Initially at issue was a JV to be set up by the entities affiliated with Otkritie Group and Abduljelil Abdulkerimov, which was reflected in Contact's previous ownership structure (70%/30%). The consolidation of 100% in the hands of Otkritie Group does not correspond to the initial approach.
The paper's sources attribute this deal to Otkritie Group's changed plans with regard to the payment system's future. Last June Qiwi Group, which manages the namesake instant payment system, held talks with Otkritie Group and Russlavbank over the purchase of Contact. However, at that time the parties failed to reach an agreement on specific parameters of a complicated transaction, and recently Qiwi resumed talks with Otkritie Group."Retail payments are a core area of business for Qiwi, and Otkritie Group will get a stake in Qiwi," one of the newspaper's sources pointed out. According to the same source, the parties had already signed a letter of intent, and the deal itself is planned to be announced this summer.