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It was only last week we were talking about how the DST-Naspers-Tencent nexus is driving online media investment in Russia, China, eastern Europe and, increasingly, the Valley. Now there’s some further investment activity between two of the three…
South African media corp Naspers is giving over $388 million and a 39.3 percent in Mail.ru for a 28.7 percent stake in Digital Sky Technologies (announcement).
This gives DST 99.9 percent of the Russian portal and email service Mail.ru. But giving up Mail.ru also gives Naspers a seat at the table of some much larger, global properties through DST…
— DST invested $200 million for 1.96 percent of Facebook, valuing it at $10 billion.
— It put $180 million in to Zynga, though not for a board seat.
— It recently bought ICQ from AOL.
— And it has a stake in group buying site Groupon.
The deal underlines the cooperation between these three investors that The Economist wrote about last week. Naspers already owned 30 percent of China’s Tencent, and Tencent owns 10 percent of DST.
In fact, London- and Moscow-based DST — run by Yuri Milner, Gregory Finger and Alexander Tamas — is at the center of this nexus, and, within that, Mail.ru stakes have changed hands several times over the last couple of years….
DST claims its main assets account for over 70 percent of the page views on the RuNet. But its ambitions extend beyond Russia — DST and Naspers recently pooled their Polish social networks and DST properties also include Forticom, through which it holds stakes in Russian social nets Vkontake and Odnoklassniki.ru plus One in Lithuania and Latvia
Naspers is doing the deal through Myriad Internet Holdings (MIH), its internet arm, through which it has amassed these stakes in recent years.