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Digital Sky Technologies, the Russian investment firm that has sunk its teeth into both Facebook and social gaming company Zynga, is reportedly raising its stake in the social network past 5 percent.
The Russian newspaper Kommersant reported today that DST raised its investment after buying $100 million in employee shares and a $200 million direct investment earlier this year. With this investment, DST’s holdings in Facebook would rise above $400 million, and the firm’s stake would be three times the share Microsoft holds. DST would not comment for this story, and Facebook’s representatives weren’t available to comment.
DST made news earlier this week when it announced that it led a $180 million funding round in social gaming site Zynga. (Zynga CEO Mark Pincus and Yuri Milner, chief executive of DST, talk about the funding round here.)
Milner spoke to us about his investment strategy yesterday, saying:
“We basically subscribe to the view that an IPO has to be business-driven and not liquidity-driven. We have seen some companies go public just because certain employees and investors want to cash in on the success of the company. There are other ways to provide this liquidity without the distraction of the IPO process. [Employees are able to sell some of their vested shares in this deal]. Only when a company is ready to go public and needs some kind of currency to do M&A or is otherwise ready, then it makes sense. This transaction is similar to the prior Facebook transaction we did that had the same logic.”
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