Paper producer Segezha is planning an initial public offering on the Moscow exchange, making it the latest in a series of Russian companies looking to tap surging investor demand.
Segezha, which is owned by oligarch Vladimir Yevtushenkov’s Sistema conglomerate, said on Monday that it wanted to raise at least Rbs30bn ($388m) in the IPO. It is seeking a valuation of more than $1.5bn, according to a person familiar with the plans.
The structure of the offering will allow Sistema to retain control of the company.
Russian companies are rushing to go public in response to high demand for emerging market assets and in case geopolitical tensions with the west make it harder to list.
The stimulus-fuelled global stock market boom and a rebound in commodity prices have helped Russia’s market recover quickly from the pandemic.
The Moscow exchange’s benchmark index hit record highs in March and Russian central bank rates remain near an all-time low. Last year, the bourse doubled its number of retail investors to 10m as homebound traders moved away from bank deposits.
In March, discount retailer Fix Price held the largest Russian IPO since the US and EU imposed sanctions against Moscow in 2014. Ecommerce site Ozon, which is co-owned by Sistema, has more than doubled its valuation to about $12.5bn after going public in New York last year.
But the sell-off of the rouble on tensions with the US and the military build-up on the Ukrainian border has underlined that going public remains precarious.
GV Gold, a midsized goldminer whose key shareholders include BlackRock, said late last month it would postpone its IPO — the third time the company has announced a listing then backtracked — because of “elevated levels of market volatility in both the global and Russian capital markets”.
Segezha, which reported nearly $1bn of revenue last year and operating profit of $242m, is the fifth-largest producer of birch plywood in the world and is in the top two for production of heavy duty “multiwall” paper packaging.
Prices for its products have rebounded during the recent economic recovery, while 72 per cent of its revenue comes from export sales in foreign currencies — allowing it to take advantage of the weak rouble at its mostly Russian cost base.
“Bringing Segezha Group to the public markets will crystallize the value of our investment, raise funds that would allow Segezha Group to continue to pursue its investment projects and provide investors with the opportunity to share in the company’s strong growth and benefit from attractive returns,” Sistema chief executive Vladimir Chirakhov said in a statement.
JPMorgan, UBS, and VTB Capital are joint global co-ordinators and joint bookrunners on the IPO. Alfa Capital Markets, Gazprombank, BofA Securities, and Renaissance Capital are joint bookrunners.