Kazakhstan: Financial services provider buys online supermarket

Astana / KZ. (fhc) Freedom Holding Company, a diversified multi-national financial services firm, has completed the acquisition of an 82 percent ownership interest in Kazakh Arbuz Group Limited Liability Partnership from a group of private investors. The acquisition took place in several stages starting in March 2023. Arbuz is an online supermarket and fresh food delivery service with operations in Almaty and Astana (KZ). It has become a flagship marketplace in Kazakhstan’s food-tech industry.

«As one of the largest domestic Internet websites in Kazakhstan, the Arbuz startup is also a major contributor to the development of the e-commerce sector in our country,» says Timur Turlov, Chief Executive Officer of the Holding. He has personally been an investor in Arbuz since 2019. The CEO has retained an 18% ownership interest Arbuz following completion of the acquisition.

«I am proud of the achievements of our team, which was able to create and be a pioneer in the online supermarket industry in Kazakhstan within a few years,» says Alexey Lee, the founder and general director of Arbuz. «We have been able to maintain a unique position in the market and an understanding of its future potential.»

Through its subsidiaries, Freedom Holding Company employs more than 2,900 people and is a professional participant in the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange, the Astana International Exchange, the Republican Stock Exchange of Tashkent, and the Uzbek Republican Currency Exchange and is a member of the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. Freedom Holding is headquartered in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and has a presence through its subsidiaries in 15 countries, including Cyprus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and the United States.

The online supermarket under the roof of Arbuz Group was launched in 2011, and since then 205,000 customers have made purchases on the platform. In 2018, Arbuz.kz was led by a new team, headed by CEO Alexey Lee and COO Ruslan Pogorelov, who restarted the project and increased sales significantly. The current average number of deliveries per day is 2,500 to 3,000. Arbuz.kz operates using the supermarket model for delivery of food, drinks, household chemicals and household goods. The company has its own warehouses, assembly line and courier service. The Group plans to maintain and develop Arbuz.kz as the market leader in Kazakhstan in terms of quality, service and assortment. Addendum: The website is available in Kazakh, Russian and English. The assortment of bread and pastries is impressive.