Russia's MegaFon gets nod for $2 billion IPO: sources

Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:41pm EST
 

By Megan Davies

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's No.2 mobile phone company, MegaFon MGFON.UL, is likely to go ahead with its planned stock market float in London this year after receiving an unofficial green light from the UK regulator, sources familiar with the matter said.‬

MegaFon had aimed to raise around $2 billion from its initial public offering this year, but several sources have said it would have to delay the share sale until 2013 if it did not get the nod from the UK Listing Authority (UKLA) in time.

MegaFon has cleared and resolved any material issues with the UKLA, a source familiar with the situation said on Saturday. Official approval is expected when MegaFon's IPO prospectus has been completed, the source said.

‪The company is expected to make a formal statement on the IPO launch in the coming weeks. The deal could happen in late November or early December, before capital markets wind down for the end of the year, sources have said.

The float by MegaFon, which is controlled by Russia's richest man Alisher Usmanov, would rank as the biggest by a Russian company since Internet search firm Yandex (YNDX.O: Quote) raised $1.4 billion when it floated in New York in May 2011.

LISTING CRITERIA

The UKLA approves an IPO prospectus when it is satisfied a company has met its listing criteria. Among issues the UKLA typically examines is the shareholder structure. Any particular concerns are typically listed in the 'risks' section of the prospectus.

Usmanov told Reuters in September that he would fold his stake in MegaFon and other assets into a new holding company, co-owned by one of his partners Vladimir Skoch, father of billionaire Russian lawmaker Andrei Skoch, who helped build up iron ore miner Metalloinvest.‬   Continued...

 
A man walks past a MegaFon retail outlet along a street in Moscow September 4, 2012. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov