Octo Telematics Says It’s Freed from U.S. Sanctions After Execs Buy Russian Shares

May 2, 2018

Italy’s Octo Telematics, a global provider of telematics for the auto insurance industry, confirmed the completion of the purchase of 20 percent of the company’s shares by its Chairman Sir John Peace and Chief Executive Fabio Sbianchi from shareholder Nes Investments Sarl, part of Renova group of companies headed by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.

The move was taken in response to the U.S. imposing sanctions on Renova Holdings and on Vekselberg last month. The buyback reduces Renova’s previous 65 percent stake in Octo to under 48 percent.

Octo said the transaction has been reviewed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Octo said OFAC issued a license on April 30, 2018 confirming that OFAC is no longer treating Octo as subject to sanctions.

Octo Telematics reportedly put a planned initial public offering on hold after the U.S. imposed major sanctions against Vekselberg and other oligarchs as punishment for alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Fabio Sbianchi, CEO, Octo Telematics said completion of this deal “ensures continued normal business operations.”

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