03 October 2017
Moscow, Russia - PJSC MTS (NYSE: MBT, MOEX: MTSS), the leading telecommunications provider in Russia and the CIS, announces the acquisition of a 50.82% stake in the Russian retail software developer Oblachny Retail LLC, operating under its trademark name LiteBox. The transaction is priced at RUB 620mln and includes the repayment of a RUB 30mln loan, RUB 420mln of investments in business development as well as a payment of RUB 170mln to the founders. The deal allows MTS to enter the cloud-based cash register market as a fully licensed fiscal data operator (FDO) and a provider of integrated digital cash management solutions for B2B clients.
MTS also entered into an option agreement with the shareholders of the developer, under which MTS has the right and obligation, at the request of minority shareholders, to redeem their shares at a price based on the company's results for 2019.
Kirill Dmitriev, Vice President, Sales and Customer Service, commented:
"Recent government initiatives and the development of digital technologies have radically transformed the market for cash services in Russia. Due to tight legislative deadlines, the transition to digitally enabled on-line cash registers will be very rapid. The current low level of cash register computerization prevalent among small and medium businesses creates a solid base for accelerating growth in this market.
Combining MTS’ excellent position in cloud computing and strong fintech development credentials with its comprehensive mobile internet coverage, MTS can leverage the Oblachny Retail acquisition to take a leading role in the service automation market for small and medium enterprises. In the near future, with the help of MTS, all businesses will have access to a low-cost mobile system for handling cash with reliable Internet access.
Our synergies with MTS Bank enable us to also offer our business customers an integrated cash management service including a full range of banking options."
LiteBox cash register is the most functional cloud solution in the Russian market with end-to-end automation of cash services and online trading operations including inventory and purchase management, sales analysis and key indicators as well as loyalty program management.
The deal will allow MTS to offer a starter kit "MTS. Kassa" providing full automation of commercial activity to small business. POS terminal has a preinstalled software for reaching the "cloud” and sending data through 3G/LTE mobile network or WI-FI.
MTS together with MTS Bank will develop a suite of complex related products including cash management services, acquiring, payroll services, overdraft and loan programs from MTS Bank complemented by a customer service using the more traditional SMS and voice channels.
Starting in 2018, MTS POS payment terminals will be fully integrated with the MTS Money Wallet, allowing for receipt of payment from a digital wallet connected to any Russian mobile number. With this service, in addition to the existing money transfers and remote payment services, MTS will offer purchasers the option to pay directly at points of sale using either their smartphone to receive a QR code, or by placing a smartphone directly against the POS terminal. Feature phone users will also be able to make payments via SMS confirmation.
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