Italy’s Octo Telematics announced that its chairman and chief executive have signed a binding agreement to purchase 20 percent of Octo’s shares from Russian company Renova Holdings.
This share purchase will reduce Renova’s shareholding in the company to 48.55 percent, thereby paving the way for Rome-headquartered Octo Telematics to push forward with its planned initial public offering.
It was revealed on Thursday that the IPO could be delayed as a result of U.S. sanctions, which were imposed last week against Russian oligarchs – including Renova’s Russian chairman, Viktor Vekselberg. The sanctions were a response to Russia’s alleged meddling in the U.S. election in 2016 and other so-called “malign activity.”
Once Renova is no longer a controlling shareholder, Octo indicated in a statement that the IPO could move forward, saying it has been “in direct contact with the relevant U.S. authorities and is confident that this transaction will address any concerns as to the independence of Octo Telematics from the Renova Group.”
“Having worked closely with the management team and observed at first hand the transformation that Octo is bringing to the insurance industry, I am pleased to have reached this agreement,” said Sir John Peace, chairman of Octo Telematics.
“Investments already made in technology and the strong track record of business wins makes Octo a unique combination of profitable growth at scale that is extremely well positioned, not just in insurance and automotive, but the wider IoT,” he said, referring to the “internet of things.”
“Octo sits at the center of insurtech and the connected car. Our ability to deliver actionable intelligence to help insurers and automotive players reimagine their business models for the world of connected consumers, enabled by dynamic data, is incredibly exciting for us,” said Fabio Sbianchi, chief executive officer of Octo Telematics, who founded the company in 2002.
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