IPO news – November 2012

According to the Russian business daily Kommersant (16 November 2012), the price per global depositary receipt will range from USD 20-25 during its listing on London Stock Exchange. and Moscow. As a result, the whole of MegaFon is being valued at approximately USD 11-14 billion.

Swedish telecoms operator Telia-Sonera and MegaFon Investments (owned by MegaFon) will be selling interests. After the IPO Alisher Usmanov’s AF Telecom will retain over 50 per cent of the mobile operator, with TeliaSonera holding 25 per cent minus one share.

In addition, MegaFon CEO Ivan Tavrin will own 1.25 per cent of the mobile operator through the purchase of 7.75 million shares from MegaFon Investments within one month of the IPO.


As reported in The Guardian’s sister Sunday paper, The Observer on 18 November 2012, in an article entitled Alisher Usmanov in spotlight over Wikipedia profile, the advisers of oligarch and Arsenal investor Alisher Usmanov have tweaked his profile on Wikipedia, in particular in respect of his conviction by the Uzbek authorities and six-year prison sentence meted down in 1980.

This change  would appear to have been dictated by a desire to clean up his record for investors prior to the planned listing by MegaFon (in which Usmanov has a significant interest) on the London Stock Exchange, where another shareholder in the Russian mobile operator Swedish telco TeliaSonera plans to sell a 15 per cent interest for an estimated USD 1.7-2.1 billion.

The article provides more details on the charges that Usmanov faced and his contacts with the current Uzbek authorities. Nowadays Usmanov spends most of his time in Russia, where he has investments in precious metals, iron ore, steel, natural gas and various media, as well as a shareholding in the UK in the Premier League football club Arsenal.

According to recent articles in the Russian press, Usmanov may also end up playing a more significant role at nickel producer Norilsk Nickel, as he facilitates the dispute between the main shareholders Vladimir Potanin (Interros) and Oleg Deripaska (RusAl, Basic Element).

Usmanov is one of the richest men in the world, with a fortune valued at approximately USD 18.1 billion by Forbes in 2011.

UTair, with its head office in Khanty Mansiysk Airport,  owned 23 per cent by Khanty Mansiysk District administration, 19 per cent by Surgut City administration, 33 per cent by Russian shareholders and companies, 20 per cent owned by private foreign investors and 2 per cent by the Russian Federation, is considering a foreign listing in 2013.

The airline is seeking to raise USD 100-350 million that it will invest in a programme, aimed at developing and expanding the airline’s fleet by 88 aircraft (including 20 Airbus and 40 Boeing).

As reported by Reuters on 11 November 2012, MegaFon appears to have resolved its differences with the UK Listing Authority and will list on the London Stock Exchange before the end of 2012.

However, the mobile operator, owned by Alisher Usmanov (through AF Telecom and Telecominvest), TeliaSonera and Alfa Group’s telecoms arm Altimo, has still to complete a corresponding IPO prospectus.

Only recently it had been reported in the media that MegaFon had decided to shelve its IPO, allegedly owing to outstanding issues raised by the UK and corporate governance concerns about ownership changes. In addition, the offer price had been deemed too low.