Russian Investor Interested in Buying ICQ

According to media reports, the Internet company Aol. is in discussions with a Russian investor about selling the instant messaging service ICQ.  In November first rumors appeared that Aol. wants to get rid of ICQ.

The Russian newspaper “Vedomosti” says that the investor group Digital Sky Technologies (DST) wants to buy ICQ for some 200 to 250 million US dollars.  Aol. had bought ICQ for 400 million US dollars in 1998 and gradually linked it to its own Messenger, AIM.

Currently, ICQ has around 8.4 million single users in Russia.  According to data published by the market watching company ComScore, it is thus the most-used instant messaging service in Russia.  First rumors about a possible selling of ICQ had come up already one month ago.

Back then, Aol. had ordered the investment bank Morgan Stanley and Allen & Co to find a buyer for ICQ.  Digital Sky Technologies mainly participates in Web companies.  In May 2009, they had already bought 200 million dollar shares of the social networking service Facebook.