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Verysell Group, Mint Capital and RP Explorer Fund Announce Major Russian IT Investment Agreement

Ben Aris
14th March 2007

The Russian IT company Verysell together with a Scandinavian private equity fund Mint Capital and the British investment fund RP Explorer Fund (a division of RP Capital Group) have concluded a $40-million investment agreement to support the company’s development. Financing was provided through direct equity investment and a convertible loan.

The capital raised will be primarily used to strengthen Verysell’s positions in IT consulting and system integration. Verysell Group’s revenues totaled $470 million in 2006.

«It is my hope that our cooperation with foreign funds that have extensive experience in investing in hi-tech companies will allow us step up implementation of our strategy, which is aimed at making Verysell Russia’s top IT company. Our high growth over the last 5 years proves that we are on the right path,» said Mikhail Krasnov, the Chairman of the Board, Verysell Group.

«Russia’s IT market has reached the stage at which the continued successful development of Russian companies will require better financial transparency and high corporate governance standards. We can see the colossal growth potential of Verysell and Russia’s system integration and IT services market. And we believe that our joint efforts will increase the value of the business and enable the possible access to capital market in the medium term,» said Ulf Persson, Managing Partner, Mint Capital.

«For many years now the Verysell Group has been one of the leaders of Russia’s IT market. The country’s system integration and IT services market is itself a very promising and one of the fastest developing markets. RP Capital Group has always invested in the top companies of dynamic markets, which is why this strategic partnership with the Verysell Group is of great interest to us,» said Anatoly Kaminov, Principal, RP Capital Group.

The investors’ interest in Verysell can be accounted for by its wellbalanced position on the market. The company’s diversification both in distribution and IT consulting makes it possible to minimize the risks relating to market fluctuations. Moreover, the share of highmargin IT businesses in the company’s turnover has been on the rise in the recent years.

According to various estimates, Russia’s IT industry has been growing by 25% annually over the past few years, which makes it one of the fastest developing markets both in Russia and worldwide. In 2006 Russia’s IT market, including computer equipment distribution, IT services and consulting, was estimated to have reached $12.6 billion.

IT services and consulting account for 20% of the market in monetary terms, a much smaller share than that seen in foreign markets, where it often amounts to 50%. This situation makes it possible to anticipate high growth in the IT services and consulting sectors in the years to come.

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