Hogan Lovells leads on two tech acquisitions in Russia

Moscow, 20 November 2020, International Law firm Hogan Lovells has recently completed two tech M&A deals for its clients. The deals were led out of the Moscow office and closed nearly concurrently.

  • Advising Digital Assets, a tech subsidiary of Sber, the largest Russian bank, on its acquisition of Zvuk, a leading independent music streaming service in Russia. The Zvuk service (now rebranded into SberZvuk) will be integrated into Sber’s ecosystem and will improve and complement the current services.
  • Advising O2O Holding, a strategic partnership of Sber, and Russian internet platform Mail.ru Group with over 100 million active user accounts, on its acquisition of a 84.7% share in Local Kitchen («Кухня на районе»), a service offering express delivery from dark kitchens which became extremely popular in Russia during the pandemic. The remainder of the shares will be held by the founders of Local Kitchen. The addition of Local Kitchen to O2O, which already controls delivery service ‘Delivery Club’, will create an enhanced service for its customers. 

The two services will be available to clients in Russia via popular Sber ID, a unified login which gives access to almost 100 Sber ecosystem services and partners.

Both matters were led by M&A partner Oxana Balayan with support from senior counsel Maria Baeva and associates Olga Khachikyan and Anastasia Chapurina, an all-female core team. In addition, corporate associate Denis Shakhov assisted the team advising on the Local Kitchen acquisition and IPMT associate Roland Novozhilov supported on the acquisition of Zvuk.

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The teams advised on all aspects of the transactions including structuring, corporate transactional support and regulatory issues.

These deals represent two recent examples in a series of a high profile instructions for Hogan Lovells from Sber, Mail.ru Group and now their joint vehicle O2O Holding over the last 12 months.

Oxana Balayan is part of the global Tech M&A focus group at Hogan Lovells led by Silicon Valley-based partner Rick Climan, member of the M&A Leadership Team led by DC-based partner Bill Curtin and, together with Maria, part of the firm-wide Technology & Telecoms industry sector group led by ​partner Mark Brennan. These deals build on Hogan Lovells strong global expertise in the technology sector and cement the leading role of Hogan Lovells and its Russian team in technology M&A.

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