Sergei Galitsky sold a 29% share in Magnit to VTB

VTB will acquire a 29% stake in Magnit for 138 billion rubles and become the largest shareholder of the retailer. Sergey Galitsky will leave the company.
VTB will acquire more than 29% of the retailer Magnit from its main shareholder Sergei Galitsky, who will have about 3% of the shares, the agreement was signed at the investment forum in Sochi. The transaction amount will be 138 billion rubles. According to VTB President Andrei Kostin, this is one of the largest mergers and acquisitions this year.

Galitsky remains a minority shareholder in Magnit with a 3% stake. He noted that he headed the company for 25 years, but "something must be changed in his life". He called the decision to sell a stake in Magnit a difficult one, but, he said, he and other shareholders have different views on the development of the company. The sale of VTB shares is the best solution, as the bank has great ambitions, Galitsky stressed.

According to him, the parameters of the deal do not provide for an option to buy back. "Even if there were such conditions, I would be against it. Leaving - leave ", - said Galitsky. "Further," Magnet "will go without me," - concluded the businessman.

Today, the board of directors of Magnit will approve the replacement of the general director of the retailer, the current CFO of the company Khachatur Pombuchkhan will be appointed as the new head.

The transaction must be approved by the Federal Antimonopoly Service.

"Magnit" sharply slowed the growth rates of revenue in the last two years after its main customer audience fell disposable income, and the main competitor X5 Retail Group carried out the renovation of stores and restored sales growth. As a result, Magnit lost to the competitor the first place in revenue gained several years ago.

In 2017, Magnit's revenue growth did not reach the company's management forecasts. Sales rose by only 6.4% to 1.14 trillion rubles. against the expected 8-10%. Revenue X5 increased by 25.5%. This year, "Magnit" does not expect a significant acceleration in growth: the company is focused on revenue growth of 7-9% for a full year.

This week Magnit ceased to be the most expensive Russian retailer: on February 13, X5 outperformed Magnit on the London Stock Exchange.

On Friday, Galitsky said that he will continue to live in Krasnodar and engage in children's and youth football. The businessman owns the football club "Krasnodar".

VTB Chairman of the Board Andrey Kostin told reporters that he expects Magnit's capitalization to grow. VTB is well acquainted with the business of Magnit. Alexei Makhnev from VTB Capital as an independent director for several years was among the board of directors. And himself Galitsky from 2015 - a member of the supervisory board of VTB.

"In Magnit, we need to translate some reorientation from an entrepreneurial approach to a more modern, clearly motivated management team, to change organizational structure a little. We will pinpoint management," said VTB First Deputy President Yury Soloviev.

The founder of Magnit

Galitsky founded Magnit together with Vladimir Gordeychuk in the 1990s. and since then remained its leader and main shareholder. In 2015, Galitsky told investors: "The company for a long time depended heavily on me and on my partner [Vladimir Gordeychuk]. And I now see that the team without us can easily develop this business ... They are in a position to give us the opportunity to get sick or go on vacation. " And in early 2016 Galitsky warned investors that he plans in the coming years to sell about 1-1.5% of the company a year to finance personal projects.