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Russian IT firm Softline sets IPO price range, valued up to US$1.93 billion

MOSCOW : Russian IT company Softline said on Monday the indicative price range for its initial public offering has been set at between US$7.50 and US$10.50 per global depositary receipt (GDR), valuing the firm at up to US$1.93 billion.

Softline, one of several Russian firms planning a market debut, said it plans to raise around US$400 million by selling newly issued ordinary shares in the IPO on the London Stock Exchange later this month, with a secondary listing in Moscow.

Russian IPO activity, hit by the COVID-19 pandemic last year, is picking up pace as the economy improves and concerns over fresh Western sanctions fade. The Moscow Exchange expects to hold 10 share listings by the end of the year.

Softline, headquartered in London and operating in more than 50 countries, said the offering is expected to value the company at between US$1.49 billion and US$1.93 billion.

A person familiar with the matter told Reuters the company was targeting a free float of 20-25per cent.

Bookbuilding is expected to be completed on or around Oct. 26.

Softline said certain existing shareholders were expected to offer additional GDRs as an over-allotment option, representing up to 15per cent of the total number of GDRs being sold.

Softline intends to use part of the IPO proceeds to fund acquisitions, it said, part of the company's growth strategy along with organic expansion.

CEO Sergey Chernovolenko has said Softline's strategy also includes developing expertise and expanding within emerging markets.

"Compared with developed markets, GDP growth is twice as fast (in emerging markets) and IT penetration is around 3-4 times lower," Chernovolenko said in a recent interview.

Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan and VTB Capital are acting as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners. Alfa Capital Markets, Citigroup, Gazprombank and Sberbank CIB are acting as joint bookrunners.

(Reporting by Olga Popova and Alexander Marrow; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

Source: Reuters

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