(30 November 2006/Moscow) –Uniastrum Bank signed an agreement to sell a 26% stake in its money transfers subsidiary Unistream to Aurora Russia Limited for $20 million subject to the regulatory approvals by the Central Bank of Russia and Federal Antimonopoly Committee.
Deloitte was retained by Uniastrum to act as its exclusive financial advisor for this transaction.
Uniastrum is one of the most dynamic retail banks in Russia with over two hundred offices strong network covering 8 time zones.
Unistream is the fully licensed Russian bank with money transfers or remittances as its exclusive activity. It has been span off Uniastrum earlier this year.
Aurora Russia Limited is the Guernsey based AIM- listed private equity fund, investing predominantly in Russian businesses.
Mr. George Piskov, chairman of the Board at Uniastrum:
This transaction is yet another confirmation of how much of investors attention is given to the money transfers business these days. The industry grows very rapidly, reaching potentially over $300 billion in volume of transfers by the end of this year.
Mr. Gagik Zakaryan, president of Uniastrum Bank, chairman of the Board at Unistream:
It was 5 years ago when we at Uniastrum launched this new product, Unistream money transfers, targeted at the ordinary people for whom using traditional expensive money transfers services was a luxury beyond their means. Today Unistream is one of the leading remittance businesses in Russia and former Soviet Union countries, being a logical result of our enormous investment of time and effort into efficient procedures, IT structures and innovative marketing strategies.
Mr. Souren Hayriyan, CEO for Unistream:
I consider finalization of the deal as a great result of the work the management of the company has been carrying out for 5 years. It is aimed at increasing of transaction volumes, development of the solid and efficient service point network and establishing the system as an international money transfers system.
For the period of 5 years we have managed to lead the system to the leadership positions in the CIS where our market share is now 25 percent. We are currently operating 25 thousand service points in over 85 countries around the world. I want to ensure our partners in Aurora that the system will keep demonstrating excellent financial and operational results, targeting a 5 percent market share on the global market within 10 years.
Unistream facts and figures:
25 000 points of sale in 85 countries.
800 000 satisfied customers in 2006
$2 Billion estimated volume of transfers in 2006
200% growth of business in 2006