Russia’s Sistema considers buying into e-commerce firm Ozon-Reuters

(Reuters) – Russia’s Sistema is considering buying into Ozon, a fast-growing e-commerce and internet shopping company backed by private equity firm Baring Vostok, the oil-to-telecoms group said on Tuesday.

The comments partly confirmed a report by the Vedomosti daily newspaper which cited sources saying that Sistema was in talks with Baring Vostok to buy a stake in Ozon, which runs a similar model to U.S. online retail pioneer Amazon.

According to Vedomosti, Ozon is valued at up to £494,773,950 by Baring Vostok, a private equity partnership founded by American Michael Calvey that invested $3 million together with a partner to buy a 51 percent stake in Ozon in 2000.

“We are looking at it as part of a new funding round (for Ozon) but without any obligations so far,” said Sistema spokeswoman Ekaterina Tsukanova. Sistema also owns the Detsky Mir children’s store chain and some online retail franchises.

Ozon’s revenues have grown more than 200-fold over the past decade, from $2 million in 2002 to 15.3 billion roubles ($464 million) in 2012, when they grew by 73 percent year-on-year.

Ozon declined comment. Baring Vostok, also an early investor in search engine Yandex that floated on the U.S. Nasdaq exchange in 2011, was not available for comment.