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VKontakte Founder Durov Sells Stake in Company

Published: January 26, 2014 (Issue # 1794)



  • Pavel Durov speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe: Berlin in 2013.
    Photo: TechCrunch / Flickr

Pavel Durov, the founder of VKontakte, said on Friday he had sold his stake in the immensely popular social-networking website that has often been dubbed Russias Facebook.

Durov wrote on his VKontakte page that he had sold 12 percent of the company to Ivan Tavrin, a member of the Mail.Ru Group Board of Directors and general director of Russian telecoms giant Megafon.

He said that the deal would not affect VKontakte management and he, as a founder, would continue to oversee its functioning.

You may also be interested in: VK Claims Authorities Sought $100,000 Bribe

Russian business daily Vedomosti said earlier in the day, citing sources close to VKontakte partners and shareholders, that the deal was signed in December 2013.

The contract value is unknown, but one of Vedomostis sources said it was probably based on the companys value of $3-4 billion.

Previous media reports said that Durov and his VKontakte team were planning to quit and engage in a new project, but his spokesman Georgy Lobushkin denied the reports.

VKontakte remains Russias most popular social networking website. In January 2014, it was visited by about 60 million users daily, according to data provided by Durov.

You may also be interested in: VKontakte Movie to Start Filming in City Next Year

The website, whose users can upload music and videos on their pages, has also been criticized for massive copyright violations.

In a 2012 article in the popular US-based news blog Gawker, VKontakte was described as a meat market for American men seeking brides in Russia and other Eastern European nations.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of todays seminar is Grammar Practice.


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at Professional Growth, a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmChams Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBAs ongoing Breakfast with the Director series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at Sounds of the Universe, a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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