Suleiman Kerimov, Yuri Milner and Leonid Blavatnik burned down on investments in Snapchat

As it became known to The Bell, Suleiman Kerimov, who is accused of tax fraud in France, before the IPO of instant messenger Snapchat invested in his actions. For investors, this company has become the main disappointment of the year.
About the fact that Kerimov invested in Snapchat, The Bell was told by the top managers of the three investment funds and confirmed by two billionaire acquaintances. The deal went through before the company's IPO in the expectation that after it will rise in price, says one source. The calculation was not justified, and while Kerimov is in the red, adds another. How much the businessman has enclosed in actions соцсети, it is precisely not known. One of the interlocutors says that, according to his information, it is about the amount of up to $ 200 million, and could not sell the stake at the IPO, because under the terms of the deal he should not have reduced his share within a year from the date of purchase.

Snapchat held an IPO in March 2017, the last round of investments, which was officially known, took place in May 2016. The total size of the round was $ 1.8 billion, involving 16 funds, including Sequoia and Fidelity. "I was also offered to invest in the shares of this company shortly before the IPO, but advisers dissuaded," says a large Russian businessman who actively invests in the West.

The IPO that owns the instant messenger of Snap in March was the main hope and became the main disappointment of the investors of 2017. There were no large technological placements in the USA since September 2014, when Alibaba Group entered the exchange. When Snap founder Evan Spiegel announced an IPO in autumn 2016, Wall Street bankers readily believed that they had a new Facebook before them, closing their eyes to the fact that the company before the placement did not really tell how it was going to earn. Not the least role was played by $ 98 million of fees for IPO organizers.

The placement took place for Snap from the top: the company was estimated at $ 24 billion, 30% more expensive than the last round of investments. On the first day of trading on March 3, Snap shares jumped 44%, at a peak the company was worth $ 34 billion. On the second day of trading on March 6, Snap shares began to fall, by July the company was below the placement price, and at the low point in early August - by 30 % cheaper than the IPO, that is, the same $ 18 billion, as in May 2016.

The reasons for the fall are obvious: the company burned money all year, generating losses twice as much as revenue, and all its key figures - revenue, advertising revenue and the number of users - grew more slowly than before the IPO and what the market calculated. After another disastrous third quarter results Evan Spiegel announced the redesign of Snapchat, which should also improve the sales of advertising. At the same time, it was found out that 12% of the company's shares were bought by the Chinese Tencent, whose choice investors usually trust. This allowed Snap to grow slightly - now the company trades at 7% cheaper than the IPO price.

Kerimov - not the only investor from Russia, who invested money in Snapchat. According to TechCrunch, in the May round of investments in 2016, Leonard Blavatnik also took part in Access Industries. And DST Global, owned by Russian businessman Yuri Milner, invested in the messenger as early as 2014, when it was estimated at $ 7 billion.

At Kerimov there were also much more risky investments. On the eve of the 2008 crisis, he invested about $ 20 billion, almost all his money, in shares of Western companies and banks and lost them by margin calls, wrote Forbes. According to the sources of the magazine, then in the portfolio of Kerimov were up to 5% of the shares of Volvo, BP and E.On, Deutsche Telekom and Boeing, as well as several major world banks - Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Barclays , Fortis and Royal Bank of Scotland. After the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the global stock market collapsed. For Kerimov, this meant margin calls on the pledged securities. Forbes wrote that they had already been sold by creditor banks, and Kerimov "only had to watch in despair how nearly $ 20 billion are dissolved in the air." Since then, no significant investments were made in Kerimov's shares in the shares of foreign companies.

In the office of Kerimov they say that there is no connection with him at the moment, so they could not pass questions to The Bell. The businessman is in France - the authorities of this country in November brought charges against him for money laundering and tax evasion. To avoid arrest, Kerimov needed to make a deposit of € 40 million, but he can not leave the country by court decision. This week, the headquarters of Interpol in Lyon, in connection with the accusations against Kerimov, who in Russia is the senator, was visited personally by Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika.