Last week Renova, a Russian group owned by billionaire Viktor Vekselberg – who also heads the Skolkovo Foundation – announced the acquisition of Octo Telematics, a leading Italo-British provider of insurance telematics services (also known as ‘smart insurance’).

Renova Group has acquired 100% of the company from existing shareholders, which include Montezemolo & Partners, an Italian investment group founded by Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo, Amadeus Capital Partners and Keensight Capital.

The deal will be closed after approval from antitrust regulators, Renova indicated. The transaction’s value has not been disclosed; but in an exchange with the Russian business daily Vedomosti, a corporate source with experience in investing in such assets reckoned Octo Telematics could be valued at anything between $400 million and $500 million.

Octo has 12 years of experience in developing highly customized software applications for insurance and transport companies to optimize fleet management. It is a longstanding supplier of solutions to a reported eight out of the world’s ten largest car insurers. Vekselberg hopes to introduce this time-tested expertise to Russian insurance and logistics players and carve out a significant share of Russia’s nascent yet promising insurance telematics market.

Pairing the new European asset with domestic satellite positioning systems developers is another long-term focus. The Renova chairman believes Octo Telematics’ technologies can make “a perfect synergy in collaboration with the Russian satellite navigation system GLONASS.”

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