Amazon, SoftBank interested in buying stake in Russian online retailer Ozon

The U.S. e-commerce giant Amazom.com Inc as well as Japan’s Softbank have showed their interests in building stake in Russian online retailer Ozon, unveiled a shareholder of the Russian firm on Saturday.

Sistema is the publicly-traded diversified holding company in Russia, which also owns stakes in first and the leading Russian online retailer Ozon, which offers collection of more than 2 million retailers across 24 product categories and attracts more than 2 million daily active users.

Vladimir Evtushenkov is the majority owner in Sistema, who said that the U.S. and Japanses companies made several attempts to acquire Ozon by approaching Sistema.

Evtushenkov did not say anything about the current status of the talks which left the question unanswered whether those talks are still going on or have come to an end. Sistema is the holder of about 40% stake in Ozon and it has said that it was exploring opportunities to be in partnership with investors who could bet on Ozon.

After the annual general meeting of Sistema, in his comments to reporters, Evtushenkov said that foreign investors are showing larger interest in Ozon. Explicitly naming the U.S. and Japanese firms, he said that he is in knowledge that Ozon is the only Russian company at which Amazon and SoftBank are equally interested in to get stakes.

Ozon Chief Executive Alexander Shulgin, who joined the company in 2017 after serving in Yandex as COO of the Group and CEO of the Russian business, met Amazon Chief Jeff Bezos five or six month ago, Evtushenkov added.

After the Evtushenkov’s comments, a Sistema spokesman declined to further comment on the matter.

Sberbak Rossii was also interested in a chunk of Ozon’s stake as it was also in talks with the online retailer earlier this month, according to a Reuters report citing atleast four sources familiar with the matter at the time.