FACTBOX-Russian companies prepare for new IPO surge

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MOSCOW, Oct 8 (Businesshala) – A post-pandemic economic recovery and a stock market boom at record highs are prompting a boom in listings in Russia after a few years.

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Russian IT company Softline became the latest firm on 7 October to confirm its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange in October 2021.

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Several others are expected to come in a flurry of activities set in motion by state shipping company Sovcomflot’s initial public offering (IPO) last October.

Sources said real estate database CIAN, car-sharing company Delimobil, food retailer Vikusville and SPB Exchange are all preparing IPOs in Russia and abroad.

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Three financial market sources told Businesshala that Mercury Retail Group is aiming to raise more than $1 billion in a Moscow IPO by the end of the year.

But Russia is not untouched by the ups and downs of the market. Gold miners GV Gold and NordGold postponed IPOs this year citing uncertainty and volatility in the sector.

Below is an overview of major market debuts by Russian companies:

2021

* Renaissance Insurance announced its intention to swim on 27 September.

* Three companies made market debuts in the first half of 2021. The dual listing of cut-price retailer Fix Price in London and Moscow raised nearly $2 billion in March, making it the biggest Russian IPO since Western sanctions in 2014.

* Forestry group Segeza (Moscow Exchange; equivalent to $402 million), and healthcare provider EMC (Moscow Exchange; $500 million) followed suit in April and July.

* Kismet Acquisition One Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), in August completed a deal with video game developer Nexters to begin trading shares of Nexters Inc. on the Nasdaq. This was the first deal involving a company from Russia and a Russian SPAC to list shares in the United States.

2019-2020

* The two major listings in 2020 were online retailer Ozone (Nasdaq; $990 million) in November and Sovcomflot (Moscow Exchange; $550 million) in October. Sovcomflot’s IPO marked the first major stock exchange flotation in Moscow in three years.

* Other IPOs in 2019-2020 were Samolet (Moscow Exchange; $38.2 million), HeadHunter (Nasdaq; $220 million), Kismet Acquisition One Corp (Nasdaq; $250 million), Don Agro (Singapore; $3.6 million) and GameBank (Moscow Exchange; $2.4 million).

* Headhunter’s 2019 debut was the first IPO of a Russian company in the United States since Washington began imposing sanctions on Moscow in 2014.

2018 and earlier

* In 2018, there was no Russian IPO for the first time in a decade.

* Sixteen Russian companies IPO from 2015-2017, compared to 43 deals between 2008 and 2014.

* The largest Russian IPO to date was a $10.7 billion floatation by oil major Rosneft in London and Moscow in 2006, followed by an $8 billion offer from state-run VTB Bank in 2007. (Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Additional reporting by Olga Popova; Editing by Andrey Ostrokh and David Gregorio)

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