Megafon

Investors who participated in the controversial MegaFon flotation last year made a good bet buying shares in Russia’s second biggest mobile telephone operator.

After the company reported stellar results for the first quarter of 2013 on Wednesday and announced plans for a whopping dividend, the Moscow-traded stock rose 7.4 per cent, taking the gain since the November IPO to 65 per cent. Great for the IPO investors. Not so great for TeliaSonera, the Nordic group, which sold a hefty slice of its stake at the time. Continue reading »

Alisher Usmanov, Megafon’s controlling shareholder, must be delighted with the decision to push ahead with the Russian mobile telephone operator’s initial public offering last November. Megafon shares – after reaching a record £28.68 on Thursday on the back of 2012 financial results – are now trading in London more than 44 per cent higher than at the time of the listing. Continue reading »

Alisher UsmanovYou might have thought that after the battle of the billionaires at Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s oligarchs might try to steer clear of each other in the boardroom for a while.

Not Alisher Usmanov (above left). On Friday, Megafon, the phone company he controls, finalised a $1.1bn deal to buy half the largest handset retailer Euroset.

The other half Mikhail Fridmanwill belong to rival operator VimpelCom, where the biggest shareholder is fellow billionaire Mikhail Fridman (below left). Continue reading »

A tense stock market debut for Megafon and its underwriters finished with the Russian telecoms company’s London-listed global depository receipts closing at $19.60, just below the $20-a-share IPO price. An embarrassment but not a disaster.

As the chart (below the jump) shows, the GDRs threatened to drop through the $19.50 level that the underwriting banks seemed to be defending – and on one occasion touched $19.45. Unless global market conditions stage an unexpected recovery, the stock looks likely to remain under pressure. Continue reading »

Trading in Megafon started on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday, with the shares opening below the $20 IPO price and falling to $19.60 in the first hour. Continue reading »

Megafon has got its IPO away but only at $20, the very bottom of its $20-$25 price range.

The company announced on Wednesday that the offer will raise $1.7bn and value the business at $11.1bn in Russia’s biggest IPO since 2010. Continue reading »

Megafon, the Russian mobile operator, seems set to get its IPO away, with the help of this month’s modest recovery in financial market sentiment.

Speaking on the last day of the sale, people close to the offer say they have received enough orders to fill the offering. But it’s at the lower end of the $20-$25 price range, suggesting that investors have been fairly cautious about putting in their orders. Trading in Moscow and London is due to start on Wednesday. Continue reading »

Alisher Usmanov, Russian oligarchWhatever the reason behind Goldman Sachs’ decision to exit as underwriter of Megafon’s forthcoming IPO, the move was a kick in the teeth for the Russian mobile telephone operator run by Alisher Usmanov (pictured) that is now courting potential investors on a road show.

But leaving aside the shock of Goldman’s move, how does Megafon shape up compared to its publicly-listed Russian telecom peers? Continue reading »

The London-Moscow Megafon IPO is back on track, with a whopping price tag and a keenly-awaited clarification of the ownership structure.

The Russian company, which postponed its offering last month, relaunched the issue on Thursday with plans to achieve a market capitalisation of up to $14bn and raise up to $2.1bn.

And it seems the ownership structure problems, which were publicised when the IPO was delayed, have been resolved – at least to the satisfaction of the British regulators. Continue reading »

Megafon, the Russian mobile operator hoping to list in London, has come up with strong earnings for the third quarter. Net profit jumped 19.6 per cent to Rb14.9bn, while revenue rose 12.3 per cent year-on-year to Rb71.2bn.

The company announced in October that it would hold off its planned IPO until after third quarter results. Yet at this point the chance of a 2012 IPO going ahead seems to have little to do with today’s results, and everything to do with the UK regulator. Continue reading »

More bad news for Megafon. Two days after the company’s Moscow-London IPO was put on the backburner, the company may now face problems with its planned acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in Russia’s largest mobile phone retailer.

Russia’s anti-monopoly service said on Wednesday it could need up to two more months to review Megafon’s plans to buy retailer Euroset. It had originally been expected to rule on the deal last week. Continue reading »

Alisher Usmanov, Russian oligarch and key Megafon shareholderBy Jonathan Guthrie

Russian companies remain keen on floating in London at a time when the market is shunned by other potential issuers. The downside is a tendency to cancel transactions, or to postpone them as Megafon did on MondayContinue reading »

So MD Medical Group got away. But Promsvyazbank has not. The latest Russian London IPO has bit the dust after the shareholders decided they couldn’t get a decent price.

As the FT reported, the planned $400m offer was pulled late on Monday after a difficult month for Russian shares, which has seen the Micex index fall 5 per cent from its recent mid-September peak. Continue reading »

Another Russian equity offering gets away smoothly in London – good for Russia and for the City.

Offered at $12, MD Medical Group’s global depositary receipts rose on Friday to trade around 2 per cent up on their first morning. The company’s $311m offer was a modest morsel for the market in comparison with the $5.1bn heavyweight share sale carried out last month by Sberbank, Russia’s biggest bank. But it shows that, with the right company at the right price, investors are ready to buy Russia. Continue reading »

With the new Putin administration settling down, the Russian economy chuggling along nicely by global standards, and global market sentiment improving (slightly), Russian companies are renewing their efforts to tempt investors with equity.

First off the blocks is MegaFon, Russia’s second-largest mobile phone operator, with what could be the world’s third biggest international intial public offering this year after Facebook in May and Japan Airlines, which is due to raise $8bn on Monday.

But Facebook’s dismal post-IPO stock decline casts a long shadow, as does the very spotty performance of Russia’s own international offerings, including Nomos Bank, which is very much in the news with a controversial sale that leaves minority shareholders facing lossesContinue reading »