PPF was founded in the Czech Republic in 1991 as an investment fund and participated in the privatisation of the local economy after the fall of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in 1989. The Group's early days were difficult and its first large investment was with the acquisition of a major interest in Ceska pojistovna, the largest insurer in the Czech Republic. Its successful transformation from a state-owned, ineffective company into a functioning private business laid the foundation for subsequent successes.
In its strategic foray into the banking sector, PPF founded Home Credit, specialising in consumer finance, and then acquired and subsequently built PPF banka and eBanka in the latter half of the 1990s. PPF also expanded into Slovakia. PPF's investment portfolio in the Czech Republic was completed in 2004 as the Group successfully concluded the restructuring of the largest domestic private TV channel (TV NOVA) and sold it to US-based CME.
2002 saw PPF continue its pursuit of growth by entering the key Russian market, making its first investments in insurance and consumer financing. Despite initial difficulties, the Group persevered with its fundamental investment strategy and the Russian market with its huge potential for growth has remained the focal point of its business interests ever since. Gradually, PPF successfully launched Home Credit, and invested not only into banking and the insurance sector but as well into silver and gold mining (Polymetal).
In 2007, PPF signed an agreement with Italian-based insurance company Generali to form PPF Generali, a joint venture active in Central and Eastern Europe and CIS countries. This significant step made the company a truly global business. In keeping with this global approach, the Company also tapped the Asian markets, primarily China and Vietnam, and invested in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and other countries, predominantly through the development of the consumer finance, insurance and real estate businesses.
In more recent years, PPF Group has focused on strengthening and developing its previous investments, whilst continuing to seek new investment and business opportunities. The Group has broadened its sector coverage, owning Russia's largest consumer electronics retailer, Eldorado and has also newly invested in Europe through Energeticky a prumyslovy holding, which acquires interests predominantly in energy companies in the Central European region.
PPF Group's current strategy is focused on the developing markets of Europe and Asia and the growth of the three major investment projects that are fully under its control (banking, the consumer segment and real estate) and its three other large projects (insurance, mining and energy), which it develops together with its partners.
PPF Group’s Milestones
- At the end of the year 2013 PPF Group has agreed to acquire a 65.9% shareholding in Telefónica Czech Republic, a.s., including its 100%-owned subsidiary Telefónica Slovakia, from Telefónica, S.A., for a total consideration of CZK 63.6 billion (€2,467 million). PPF Group finances the transaction through an equity tranche of CZK 35.5 billion (€1.4 billion) and a syndicated loan facility provided by a consortium led by Société Générale. Following approval of the transaction by the European Commission the deal was closed at the end of January, 2014. Telefónica O2 is the largest integrated telecommunications operator in the Czech market and is No 3 operator in Slovakia.
- In January PPF Group has come to the agreement with Generali on selling its 49% stake in insurance JV Generali PPF Holding (GPH). As part of this agreement, PPF has acquired from GPH a 100% stake in dynamically growing insurance assets in Russia and other CIS countries. The agreement also assumes the exchange of assets through which Generali increases its stake in Ingosstrakh, the Russian insurer, up to 38.5%, while PPF gets full control over private equity funds PPF Partners. In March, 2013, the sale of 25% stake in GPH has been undertaken, as well as purchase of 100% stake in insurance companies in CIS. The whole transaction should be finished by the end of 2014.
- In January, Energy and Industrial Holding (EPH) has undertaken the largest Czech foreign investment ever by buying 49% stake in Slovakia\'s SPP, alongside with managing control of the company - for EUR 2.6 billion. SPP is the largest energy asset in Slovakia, being also a strategic distributor of natural gas from Russia to the EU.
- In March, PPF and Jiří Šmejc have signed an agreement on division of their assets: Jiří Šmejc gains direct stakes in Home Credit Group (13.37%) and in Air Bank (13.37%). The remaining 86.63% in both companies is owned by PPF Group N.V. As Jiri Smejc has left the position of PPF Group shareholder, the shareholding of PPF Group N.V. is divided as follows: Petr Kellner 98.94%, Ladislav Bartoníček 0.53% and J.-P. Duvieusart 0.53%.
- PPF Group develops its insurance business in Russia under two brands, Home Credit Insurance and PPF Life Insurance. Home Credit Insurance, a member of Home Credit Group, focuses on non-life insurance, and PPF Life Insurance continues working on its core market. Russia is a strategic territory for PPF Group.
- Home Credit entered Indian market launching pilot operations in New Delhi NCR region in January 2012
- As a part of PPF Group shareholders’ strategic intention to consolidate all Home Credit-branded companies operating in different geographies into a single holding entity, Home Credit B.V. acquired HC Asia N.V in July 2012 and started to consolidate also selected operations in Asia (China, India and Indonesia).
- In real estate area, PPF Group has focused on its own development projects, predominantly in Russia but also in the Czech Republic. A major project which has been launched at the end of the year is a large office park in the outskirts of Moscow. As of 2014, big Russian telco, Rostelecom is to have its headquarters there. In Prague, PPF Group started to build a complex of office buildings named Argentina Star in attractive downtown location of Holešovice.
- PPF Group sold to Russian financial group, Otkritie, its 26.5% stake in Nomos-Bank. The proceeds from the transaction are to be used by PPF for investments into further development of Group´s key activities in Russia, especially in the area of consumer finance, retail sales and real estate, as well as for the support of expansion to the fast growing Asian markets.
- In order to support a dynamic growth of Energy and Industrial Holding (EPH) and to strengthen a financial position of this strategic asset, PPF Group increased its share in EPH to 44.4%
- At the end of the year, PPF Group has come to agreement with KKCG Group, its partner in a lottery company Sazka, sázková kancelář, to sell its 50% in this joint venture to KKCG.
- The Tomilino Logistics Park near Moscow, in which PPF Group is a major investor, executed agreements with large tenants, effectively filling up the facility’s storage and distribution capacity.
- PPF Group concluded a transaction with Platinum Bank concerning the sale of its Home Credit Bank assets in Ukraine.
- Home Credit & Finance Bank successfully placed a USD 500 million loan participation note issue; on high demand from 120 investors in 18 countries, the issue was more than twice oversubscribed.
- PPF Group sold a 100% stake in its healthcare business to the private equity fund Tuffieh Funds SICAV.
- Following the approval of the Bank of Greece, PPF Group increased its stake in Piraeus Bank to 5.72%, thus becoming a significant single shareholder of this major Greek financial institution, headquartered in Athens, with operations in several countries of the Mediterranean and
- Air Bank, 100% subsidiary of PPF Group, a new retail banking operation in the Czech Republic, started preparations to offer high‑yield saving accounts to clients, following the approval of its banking licence from the Czech National Bank.
- PPF Group entered the agricultural sector in Russia by acquiring a majority stake in RAV Agro-Pro holding, which has significant operations in crop farming and livestock in several districts of the Central-Chernozem region of Russia.
- PPF Group and Igor Yakovlev, the founder of Eldorado, executed a transaction, which led to PPF Group gaining full control over a major Russian electronics and domestic appliances retail chain.
- PPF Group sold a part of its Real Estate portfolio, comprised of 19 office buildings in the Czech Republic, to CPI Group, in line with its focus on new development projects rather than facility management.
- PPF Group, together with KKCG Group, completed the acquisition of the lottery and betting assets of Sazka, a company in insolvency, from the insolvency administrator in a tender process.
- Two large malls operated by PPF Real Estate Russia were opened in the Russian cities of Ryazan and Astrakhan, bringing a new quality of shopping and entertainment to inhabitants of these regions.
- Following the split of Energetický a průmyslový holding (“EPH”) and the spin-off of its industrial part under the new name “EP Industries” from the former company EPH, PPF Group agreed with the other EPH shareholders to sell its interest in EP Industries.
- Generali shares owned directly and indirectly by PPF Group N.V. were transferred to an independent investment manager, which handles the shares in line with the agreed investment policy.
- Jean-Pascal Duvieusart becomes the fourth shareholder of PPF Group N.V. and the new ownership structure of the company is as follows: Petr Kellner: 94.25%, Jiri Smejc: 5.00%, Ladislav Bartonicek: 0.50%, and J.-P. Duvieusart: 0.25%.
- PPF Group N.V. obtains the approval of the China Banking Regulatory Commission to form a Consumer Finance Company (CFC) in Tianjin in the north of China. With this regulatory approval, PPF Group is permitted to establish the first CFC in China under full ownership of a foreign investor, in accordance with the new consumer finance legislation enacted in China in August 2009.
- PPF Group N.V. acquires 31,448,841 shares of Assicurazioni Generali (both directly and indirectly). As a result, PPF obtains a 2.02% interest in the share capital of the leading Italian insurer.
- PPF Group and Igor Yakovlev agree on debt capitalisation whereby PPF Group acquired a majority interest of 50% + 1 share in Eldorado, Russia\'s largest home appliance and electronics retail chain. The transaction was closed in September 2009.
- The J&T and PPF groups and Daniel Kretinsky form a joint venture in the field of energy and industry, Energeticky a prumyslovy holding (EP Holding) which started operating in October 2009.
- PPF Group formally launches the operation of its consumer financing business in Vietnam, making the country the eighth market in its portfolio of the developing markets of Europe and Asia. PPF Vietnam Finance Company Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of PPF Group N.V., providing product purchase loans to the qualified mass market under the Home Credit brand.
- PPF Partners makes strategic investments in the fields of waste management, entertainment and media, and bad debt recovery in the Czech Republic, Romania and Ukraine.
- Having obtained regulatory approvals, Generali PPF Holding B.V. launches its insurance activities in Central and Eastern Europe and CIS.
- PPF Group becomes a significant shareholder of Russian-based Polymetal, a leader in silver and gold mining.
- PPF Group provides a loan to Eldorado, Russia\'s retail giant and business partner, with whom the Group formerly cooperated through Home Credit & Finance Bank.
- PPF Group responds to the beginning of the financial and economic crisis with a number of proactive measures aimed at adapting its business and increasing its efficiency.
- PPF Group and Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. form PPF Partners, a private equity company specialising in investments on the developing CEE and CIS markets.
- PPF Group N.V. executes an agreement with Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. leading towards the formation of Generali PPF Holding B.V., which will provide insurance services in Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS.
- PPF Group N.V. acquires an interest in Nomos-Bank, the eighth largest banking group in Russia by assets.
- Home Credit launches its consumer financing activities in China.
- PPF Group sells eBanka to Raiffeisen Group.
- Home Credit enters the market for offering consumer finance services in Kazakhstan.
- PPF Group opens a presentational office in Vietnam aiming to capitalise on the opportunities in the consumer financing market.
- PPF Group sells CP Leasing to the Agricole – Sofinco group.
- Following its successful restructuring, PPF Group sells its majority interest in TV NOVA to CME, an international media company.
- PPF Group opens a presentational office in Beijing to evaluate the opportunities in the consumer financing market in the region.
- PPF Group starts offering insurance and consumer finance services on the Russian market.
- Acquisition and successful restructuring of PPF banka, a wholesale bank and the former Prvni mestska banka (owned in part by the City of Prague).
- Acquisition of TV NOVA, the first private TV channel in the Czech Republic.
- Acquisition of Expandia Banka a.s. (later eBanka), a pioneer of e-banking in the Czech Republic.
- Regional expansion of Home Credit.
- Foundation of Home Credit as a platform for the provision of consumer finance services in the Czech Republic.
- PPF Group acquires a major interest in Ceska pojistovna, the largest business in the insurance market in the Czech Republic, and launches its restructuring.
- Foundation of special purpose vehicles, PPF majetkova a.s. and PPF Capital Management a.s., expanding the Group´s activities to real estate management and strategic investments.
- PPF Group launches security trading and asset management activities.
- PPF\'s investment funds acquire shares of companies with a nominal value of CZK 4.9 billion. PPF Group ranks sixth among Czech investment companies in terms of the number of investment points collected.
- Foundation of PPF investicni spolecnost a.s.
- Foundation of PPF Group as a privatisation fund and launch of collective investment activities as part of privatisation. Asset under the Group\'s management are estimated at USD 225 million.