Leading Russian mobile phone company Megafon has sold its 50% stake in Kometrika, a holding created to develop commercial blockchain applications, Vedomosti reported on January 17.
50% of the company was sold to the Forpost holding of Anton Cherepennikov. Another 50% of the company remained with Cyprus Kometrika Holdings Limited.
Kometrika was registered in March last year at the same address as the central office of Megafon in Moscow, which was the controlling shareholder. Other shareholders include the management and the Moscow city government.
“The deal to sell 50% of the shares of the Kometrika company to the Forpost company is a planned step in the framework of joint cooperation, at the initial stage of, which Megafon invested in the development of the company, market research and the development of key priority areas of the company’s work, the formation of a highly professional development team,” Megafon said in a statement. The company did not disclose the amount of the transaction.
Cherepennikov is a partner of oligarch Alisher Usmanov, who famously invested into Facebook early on and is heavily involved in Russian tech projects. More recently in 2015, Usmanov set up the eSports company Virtus.pro into which he invested $100mn.
Cherepennikov has also set up a new company, ICS Holding, which is consolidating IT assets. In particular, ICS Holding received 100% of the developer of Peter-service billing systems, owned by USM Holding structures.