The Qiwi Group will sell its 40% stake in Tochka, a digital bank for entrepreneurs, to its majority shareholder, FC Otkritie Bank. This is stated in the message Qiwi, received in “Vedomosti”. The estimated cost of Qiwi’s stake is 4.95 billion rubles. (based on the current value of the company at 11 billion rubles), but it can be revised up or down based on the financial results of “Tochka” for 2021. The parties hope to close the deal in the third quarter of this year.
For the first time, the Qiwi Group disclosed the entire amount of investments in the Tochka project – it amounted to 2.1 billion rubles. The Group also received dividends from Tochka in the amount of RUB 600 million. Thus, the deal (if the stake is sold for 4.9 billion rubles) represents a 2.5-fold return on investment, the company said.
The market reacted calmly to Qiwi’s announcement. After the publication of reports on the Moscow Stock Exchange, her receipts grew by 2.9% to 760 rubles, trading on the NASDAQ will begin at 16:30 Moscow time.
Initially, the Tochka bank for entrepreneurs belonged to Bank 24.ru, which was part of the Life financial group. In the fall of 2014, Bank 24.ru lost its license and agreed with FC Otkritie on the transfer of technology to Tochka, as well as the transfer of its employees. In October 2017, Qiwi acquired the technologies and brands of Roketbank and Tochka shortly before the reorganization of FC Otkritie Bank. According to Sergei Solonin, CEO and co-founder of Qiwi at that time, Qiwi paid “big bucks” for these assets, but he did not disclose the exact amount. At the same time, he said that negotiations were underway with five banks on cooperation with Tochka.
In 2018, Qiwi and Otkritie FC Bank established a joint venture – Tochka JSC. In the joint venture, FC Otkritie’s share was 50% plus 1 share, Qiwi’s share was 40%, 10% minus 1 share belonged to Tochka’s management. Otkritie and Qiwi Bank provided banking services to Tochka’s clients, while Tochka was responsible for IT infrastructure, user support and related services. By the end of 2020, Tochka had about 96 billion rubles. on client accounts and attracted more than 580,000 clients.
Otkritie FC Bank was the initiator of the buyout of the group’s share, says a Qiwi representative. The Group, FC Otkritie and Tochka will continue to cooperate in the development of b2b services as partners. But the experience of implementing a multibank model at the group level showed that Tochka became a successful financial investment for Qiwi, but not a strategic project for the further development of focus areas, the company representative notes. Currently, Qiwi’s top priority is to ensure the stable growth of the group’s business based on strategic niches in the segments of self-employment, e-commerce, digital entertainment, remittances and trade finance.
Increasing the stake in Tochka is one of the logical steps to implement the further strategy of FC Otkritie to develop a digital platform for small businesses, a bank representative said. Tochka will retain a high degree of autonomy and operational independence, he added: the company has an effective business model and streamlined business processes, loyal customers and a unique corporate culture.
The sale of Tochka does not change the group’s forecasts regarding its financial results for this year. Net revenue of the Qiwi payment services segment will decrease by 15-25%, or 3.4-5.6 billion rubles. in comparison with 2020, the Qiwi group described its expectations for this year in the financial statements for 2020. This type of business of the group accounted for 87% of Qiwi’s total revenue for the past year, thus, the group risks losing up to 22% of total revenue. The results of the payment services segment will depend in part on two significant factors:
Total net revenue will decrease this year by 15-25% compared to 2020 (by 3.9-6.5 billion rubles), and net profit – by 15-30% (by 1.5-3 billion rubles .), predicts Qiwi.
In December 2020, the Central Bank, following an audit, restricted some operations of Qiwi Bank and fined it 11 million rubles. Restrictions apply to most types of payments to foreign merchants and money transfers to prepaid corporate cards. The group believes that the imposed restrictions are primarily due to the evolution of the Central Bank’s general approach to the interpretation of the applicable regulation of electronic payments and general trends towards increased control in the field of cyberspace and cross-border payments, rather than specific identified shortcomings. Restrictions have had a negative impact and will continue to have a negative impact on the operating results of the payment services segment, noted in Qiwi.
The total impact of the Central Bank’s restrictions on the net revenue of the payment services segment in Q4 2020 was from RUB 500 mln. up to 600 million rubles, the company estimated.
Qiwi later warned investors about the risk of further restrictions caused by the central bank audit: the company noted that any violation of the regulator’s rules could lead to fines, a ban on certain transactions, temporary administration by the regulator and, in extreme cases, the revocation of a banking license.
Not all of Qiwi’s investments in banking have been successful. A year ago, the group admitted that it had not found a buyer for the “hipster bank” – Rocketbank – and decided to curtail its activities. Rocketbank was founded in 2013 by Oleg Kozyrev, Alexey Kolesnikov, Mikhail Provision and Viktor Lysenko. In 2016, they sold it to FC Otkritie. A year later, the bank bought out Qiwi together with the assets of Tochka for 700 million rubles. Qiwi lost 5-5.5 billion rubles at Rocketbank. taking into account the cost of its purchase in 2017 and losses – past and future. The group has been trying to sell the unprofitable bank since August 2018. In 2019, the loss of Rocketbank more than doubled – to 2.3 billion rubles.