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Press releases | Archive 2011

RBC acquires controlling stake in geosocial service

Moscow, September 13, 2011 — RBC OJSC (RTS, MICEX: RBCM) hereby announces about the purchase of a 51% interest in online service OGOROD, which brings together two most popular Internet technologies: geolocation and micro-blogging. This service is congenial to RBC’s non-business online resources and will enable the company to fortify its positions in the mass Internet segment.

OGOROD, established in 2009, combines the features of a social network (www.ogorod.ru) and an instant messaging service: users are able to communicate in real time, post photos, videos or music. The geolocation function enables users to specify their messages based on their location (in partnership with TimeOut magazine). OGOROD is available for mobile phone users (m.ogorod.ru) and is integrated with social networks Facebook, Twitter and Livejournal.

Under the terms of the transaction, RBC purchased 51% of shares in OGOROD and has the option to raise its ownership to 70% after a two-year period. The value of the deal, including investments in the project, amounts to $1m.

OGOROD will be integrated into Russia’s largest online messenger QIP and an entertainment portal Qip.ru. RBC is planning to deploy mobile versions of OGOROD for various platforms. Applications for Android, Blackberry and Nokia QWERTY will be launched before long in addition to iPhone application. The service’s functions, partnership network and coverage will continue to be expanded. Plans are afoot to launch the application outside Russia, primarily in London and New York, in cooperation with a leading international entertainment magazine TimeOut. The main revenue generators of OGOROD will be services intended to improve users’ accounts (for example, message highlighting, access to statistics, and gifts) as well as display and contextual advertising which fits in with the topic of a page or a user location.

“Geotargeting services are among the most popular Internet solutions in 2011. Analysts expect the user base of such services to exceed 1bn and the value of this market is estimated in the range of $10bn - $20bn by 2015. The current transaction offers an excellent opportunity for RBC to strengthen its position in the area of social media resources. We expect to promote this service to a completely different level of development and growth given our Internet expertise, vast audience and considerable marketing opportunities,” RBC CEO German Kaplun said.

“We are delighted to have RBC as our partner. Having become extremely successful in business media resources and services, RBC has also grown into a leading player in the Russian mass Internet segment. RBC is a team of professionals who have thorough knowledge of the Russian Internet market and are able to achieve impressive results on this market, and we are confident that our cooperation will facilitate rapid development of the project,” OGOROD CEO Eugene Gordeev said.

Press and investor contacts:
Egor Timofeev
Tel: +7 (495) 363-1111
Email: pr@rbc.ru
Web: www.rbcholding.com