Ivan Tavrin’s Kismet became the owner of more than 20% of HeadHunter

van Tavrin’s Kismet became the owner of more than 20% of HeadHunter
Ivan Tavrin’s Kismet Capital Group became the owner of more than 20% of the parent company of the HeadHunter platform. It’s the second major online asset in the company’s portfolio, after Avito, which it announced last fall.



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Photo: Maxim Stulov / TASS
The fact that Kismet Capital Group received more than 20% in HeadHunter Group PLC (owns the eponymous online recruitment platform in Russia and the CIS), RBC was told by a source close to one of the parties to the transaction. An RBC source close to the other side of the deal confirmed that such an issue is being discussed. A few hours after the publication of the material, HeadHunter released a message from which it follows that the structure of Elbrus Capital sold Kismet 22.68% of HeadHunter.

According to the first source of RBC, the owner of Kismet Ivan Tavrin “was a long-standing partner of the largest shareholders of HeadHunter – Elbrus Capital and Goldman Sachs” and through this partnership acted as a beneficiary of about 10% of the Internet company. “Now Kismet has “straightened” the ownership structure and increased the size of the share,” this interlocutor explained.

Tavrin or his structures were not previously mentioned among the shareholders of HeadHunter, but the prospectus for the placement of the company’s shares on NASDAQ published in 2018 stated that the structures of Elbrus Capital and Goldman Sachs concluded an agreement with him, according to which they must pay approximately 9% of any profit received from investments in HeadHunter.

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“Kismet decided to strengthen its position in HeadHunter, because it has long been interested in the classifide market, and this company demonstrates a good track record, has a strong strategy,” said the interlocutor of RBC. According to him, the amount of the transaction amounted to more than $ 100 million The source of financing of the interlocutor of RBC did not name, but recalled that for the last major transactions, Tavrin, in addition to his own funds, attracted money from banks secured by existing assets. A second RBC source said that the amount of the transaction was market and “significantly more than $ 100 million.”

Kismet as a new shareholder plans to “fully support the existing growth strategy of the company” and manage this investment independently of its other assets, Ivan Tavrin said in a statement to HeadHunter. The founder and partner of Elbrus Capital, Dmitry Kryukov, called the fund a “long-term shareholder” of HeadHunter. As explained by an RBC source close to Elbrus Capital, the life of the fund, which owned a stake in the company, is coming to an end, so the sale of the stake is quite logical, but in the near future they intend to keep the remaining less than 10% in this asset.

According to an RBC source close to the government’s commission for the control of foreign investment, it has already reviewed and approved the deal. RBC sent a request to the Ministry of Finance – he oversees the subcommittee that considers such transactions.

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Until now, Elbrus Capital owned 31.9% of HeadHunter Group, Goldman Sachs – 8.7%, the remaining 59.4% – free float. Until February 24 last year, the company’s shares were traded on the American stock exchange NASDAQ, but after the start of a special military operation, trading was suspended. Now they continue on the Moscow Exchange. According to the results of trading on Tuesday, January 10, the company’s quotes amounted to 1104 rubles. per share. Based on the fact that HeadHunter has about 50.64 million shares, the company’s capitalization is about 56 billion rubles. (about $ 800 million at the current rate).

Ivan Tavrin is known for

Until now, Ivan Tavrin was known primarily as the owner of telecommunications, media and advertising assets. In 2012-2016, he headed the mobile operator MegaFon.

In early 2014, Tavrin acquired 12% of this social network from the founder of VKontakte Pavel Durov. A few months later, Mail.ru Group sold this stake, thanks to which the latter gained control over the social network. Under the terms of the deal, Mail.ru Group, which also owned 100% of HeadHunter, granted Tavrin an option to buy the company, but later reported that he did not sell it in the allotted three months. As a result, in February 2016, HeadHunter acquired the structures of Elbrus Capital and Goldman Sachs from Mail.ru Group. For 100% of the company, they paid 10.13 billion rubles. ($ 131.2 million based on the average exchange rate for February 2016).

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Among Kismet’s other major assets is 66% of the First Tower Company (PBK), which owns towers to house cellular communication equipment. Kismet agreed to buy this stake from MegaFon in the autumn of 2021. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed – it is only known that the entire PBK was estimated at 94.2 billion rubles. the Representative of Kismet then said that the transaction would be financed from the company’s own funds and a loan from Sberbank. In the autumn of last year, Kismet agreed to buy Avito for 151 billion rubles Financing of the acquisition and settlement on it were organized by a consortium of banks led by Rosselkhozbank, Kismet reported then.

How HeadHunter is developing

HeadHunter Group’s revenue for the nine months of last year (the latest available data) increased by 14.9% compared to the same previous period and amounted to 13.15 billion rubles, net profit decreased 2.4 times, to 1.653 billion rubles. but this offset an increase in average revenue per customer (ARPC) in all segments due to annual price indexation and other measures aimed at increasing monetization. The total number of paying users for the nine months of last year decreased by 4.8%, to 427.95 thousand.

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In May 2019, during the IPO, investors valued the entire company close to its upper expectations, at $ 675 million At the time of stopping trading on nasdaq at the end of last February, HeadHunter’s capitalization was $ 761.1 million.

Alexey Zamesov, head of special projects at RU-CENTER, recalled that HeadHunter is an absolute monopolist in its niche, but most likely, the company has exhausted the opportunities for rapid growth. “In 2021, HeadHunter had a breakthrough in profit and revenue growth, but in 2022, the company showed a small organic growth. Therefore, the estimate based on the ratio x8 to EBITDA looks fair, without a discount, “he argues. At the same time, Zamesov stressed that the company is resistant to the current market situation and serves as an example of a “protective asset” “that will give a stable dividend flow in a wide range of market situations.” “This transaction may mean that Kismet becomes a center of investment in non-politicized Russian IT unicorns, albeit without specific plans for the subsequent exit from them. In addition, obviously, she has a monetary resource with a conservative strategy, “the expert added.

“From the point of view of a strategic investor, the purchase of a large minority stake in HeadHunter looks justified on a long horizon – with the expectation of normalization of the macroeconomic situation in Russia and activation in the labor market on the horizon of two to three years, especially taking into account the continuing leading position of HeadHunter in the segment of online personnel search,” said Anna Kurbatova, senior analyst at Alfa Bank.

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