Prosus will sell the Russian online marketplace Avito, previously valued at $ 6 billion

Pross, a Dutch-based technology investor, said Friday it would look for a buyer for its Russian online marketplace Avito.

Until Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, Avito was one of the most valuable investments in the process, which Moscow described as a “special military operation” with an estimated value of $ 6 billion.

Read: Prosus removes military job ads in Russian online marketplace

“Prosas has now decided to exit Russian business,” the company said in a statement. “We have started looking for a suitable buyer for our shares in Avito.”

Separately, Moscow-headquartered Avito said it would continue to operate as an independent business run by Russian management.

“This does not affect Avito’s business development plans and opportunities in Russia,” the company said in a statement.

In March, Pross said it would sever ties with Avito and would not seek financial gain from its ownership.

Read: Pross expects to write R11.83bn on its stake in VK Russia

Sanctions were imposed on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, Prossus initially decided to continue running Avito, noting that it was responsible for the company’s 4,000 employees.

The decision was criticized after it emerged that Avito had advertised for a Russian military job.

Pross then said it would separate Avito from its online marketplace business, part of the larger OLX group, but did not specify what would happen after the split.

Prosus is controlled by Naspers South Africa. Its shares have fallen more than 40% in the last one year, basically tracking the value of its largest asset, 28.9% shares of Chinese online media giant Tencent. 0700

Process shares traded up 2.4% at 46.61 on Friday at 0715 GMT in Amsterdam.

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