South African Internet giant Naspers has announced the sale of its Russian classifieds business Avito for RUB 151 billion (~$2.3 billion), through its Dutch-based technology investor Prosus.

Naspers had disclosed its desire to exit the Russian classified market in May 2022, following an accusation from Ukrainian government officials alleging that the platform hosted ads for Russian military recruitment and goods looted from Ukraine – which it had denied, adding that Avito forbade listings that included weapons or illegal content.

Avito, Russia's biggest online classifieds business was acquired through a mixture of cash and debt financing by Kismet Capital Group, a private investment group with a track record of investing in technology and telecommunications businesses in Russia.

Before the war, Avito was one of the group’s fastest-growing companies, recording more than $300 million in revenue as of September 2021, and was valued by analysts at $6 billion before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Financial Times. As of March 2022, the net asset value of the Avito Group was $1,379.9 million and profits attributable to the Avito Group was $160.3 million.

All the necessary regulatory approvals have been received and the deal is expected to be closed in October 2022.