San Francisco, December 15, 2006
The billionaire Russian entrepreneur behind
Russia's biggest vodka maker has paid $3 million
to acquire the vodka.com domain, part of a bid
to expand into the US market, a broker said
Sedo.com, the Web domain brokering unit that
is part of Germany's United Internet AG, said
it had acted as the sales agent in the deal.
Conglomerate Russian Standard Co., controlled
by Roustam Tariko, paid $3 million to an undisclosed
seller in a deal completed Dec. 4, according
to a Sedo.com spokesman. A New York-based spokeswoman
for Russian Standard confirmed the $3 million
Russian Standard entered the US market in September
2005 with its Imperia brand. The recipe for
Imperia is said to have been discovered by 19th
century Russian scientist Dimitri Mendeleev,
inventor of chemistry's periodic table of elements.
Russian Standard Co. controls not only two-thirds
of the sales of premium vodka in Russia, but
also owns Russian Standard Bank, the country's
largest private bank.
Vodka.com's price tag is among the highest
ever revealed for a generic Web domain. In May,
diamond.com reportedly sold for $7.5 million
to jewellery retailer Ice.com. Business.com
sold for $7.5 million in 1999.
Earlier this year, a source told Reuters that
Sex.com had sold for around $12 million to a
Boston-based company called Escom LLC, although
the exact figure has never been disclosed.