VKontakte: Russia’s second-largest internet company comes back to its roots

Russia’s second-biggest internet company is heading home. The technology giant VK has announced that it is moving its operations back to Russia from the British Virgin Islands. VK is the technology conglomerate behind Russia’s version of Facebook called VKontakte. VK runs the popular social media sites VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, which have over 100 million monthly users combined.

The company will now be primarily listed in Moscow and registered on Kaliningrad’s Oktyabrsky Island, one of two special tax zones set up to attract offshore companies back as well as international investment. VK was founded in 2006 and has since grown to become one of the most popular social media platforms in Russia and other parts of the world. The platform has been a significant player in the social media space for many years.
Delisting from LSE

The announcement comes as Moscow encourages businesses registered in “unfriendly countries” to return home. Russian companies globally have faced increasing restrictions and scrutiny from authorities since the Moscow-Ukraine war started in early 2022.
In a statement, VK said its shareholders and board approved the decision and that its operations would continue in Russia “as an international public joint stock company in line with Russian legislation”. The company also said Friday it was delisting its depositary receipts (GDRs) from the London Stock Exchange.
In April last year, Moscow passed a law banning Russian companies from trading their shares abroad via such depositary receipts — securities that represent a share in a foreign company. The move was intended to curb foreign control over Russian companies.


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