Russia's MegaFon Is Said to Resume Marketing for Huge IPO

Sunday, 11 Nov 2012 06:03 PM


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OAO MegaFon, Russia’s second-largest mobile-phone company by customers, plans to resume one of the country’s biggest initial public offerings as early as this week, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The company may decide Monday on a schedule for an investor roadshow, after receiving approval from the U.K. Listing Authority for the stock sale, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plan is confidential. The preliminary schedule includes Moscow, London, New York, Frankfurt and a Nordic capital, one of the people said.

MegaFon, which plans to complete the IPO before the end of the year in a dual listing in London and Moscow, last month postponed a marketing campaign to include details of an acquisition and third-quarter earnings. Investors value the company controlled by billionaire Alisher Usmanov at $10 billion to $11 billion, people familiar with the matter said last month, meaning a sale of a 20 percent stake could raise $2 billion.

“The timing of the IPO depends on how quickly the prospectus can be updated and finalized,” the Moscow-based company said Sunday in an e-mail to Bloomberg. “We intend to hold the IPO this year.”

MegaFon’s IPO is a part of shareholder agreement reached in April when billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s Altimo cashed out of the operator and Usmanov boosted his ownership, resolving years of governance disputes with co-owner TeliaSonera AB. As part of the IPO, Stockholm-based TeliaSonera plans to divest a stake of as much as 10.6 percent, keeping at least 25 percent ownership.

Profit Jumps

The Russian carrier said last week its third-quarter net income jumped 20 percent to 14.9 billion rubles ($472 million), while customer additions helped push revenue to 71.2 billion rubles, a 12 percent gain from the year-earlier period.

OAO Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil producer, raised $10.4 billion in an IPO in 2006. That was followed a year later by VTB Bank’s $8 billion stock sale. United Co. Rusal, the biggest aluminum producer, raised $2.2 billion in a Hong Kong listing in 2010.

MegaFon agreed last month to buy a 25 percent stake of handset retailer Euroset Holding NV, and secured an option to acquire another 25 percent from Usmanov. The 50 percent holding is valued at $1.33 billion, according to the company. VimpelCom Ltd. will continue to own the remaining 50 percent stake.

Telefonica SA, Spain’s largest phone company, last month raised 1.45 billion euros ($1.8 billion) selling shares in its German division in Frankfurt.

Morgan Stanley and Russia’s Sberbank CIB are managing MegaFon’s share sale with help from Credit Suisse Group AG, Citigroup Inc. and VTB Capital.

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