Facebook investor Mail.ru eyes up to $876 million in IPO

By Olga Popova and Anastasia Teterevleva

MOSCOW (BestGrowthStock) – Facebook investor Mail.ru is looking to raise up to $876 million by offering a 16 percent stake in a planned London initial public offering (IPO) which could pave the way for other Russian Internet firms to float.

However, most of the money will go to the current shareholders rather than the company, whose revenues reached $108.7 million in the first half of this year.

Mail.ru, which holds a 2.38 percent stake in Facebook, said on Monday it would sell 3.03 million new shares in the form of global depository receipts (GDRs) and 28.59 million shares held by current shareholders in the IPO at $23.7-27.7 each.

The pricing would put Mail.ru’s pre-placement value at $4.78-5.63 billion, with the listing — equal to around 16 percent of its shares — set to bring in $749-876 million.

“Such a valuation must assume significant growth of all the assets and the additional value from the synergies between them,” said Andrey Bogdanov, analyst at Gazprombank.

The company said based on the mid-point of the price range, it expected to get a net $66.8 million from the IPO and use the cash toward buying a 7.5 percent in social networking site ‘V Kontakte’, bringing Mail.ru’s stake in the Russian equivalent of Facebook to 32.49 percent.

“The Company will not receive any proceeds from the sale of GDRs by the selling shareholders,” the IPO prospectus said.

Mail.ru holdings also include 5.13 percent of e-commerce coupon site Groupon and 1.47 percent in social game company Zynga, as well as Russian mail sites and instant messenger ICQ.

The valuation puts Mail.ru’s enterprise value to EBITDA ratio at 46.7-54.5, according to Uralsib analysts.

“This is much higher than for most comparable international companies apart from Chinese ones,” they said in a note, but added that portfolio investors would still be interested due to the limited possibilities for investing in the sector in Russia.

Only one, Russian Internet firm RBC, is currently listed after Rambler Media delisted from AIM last year.

The company, previously known as DST, is expected to price the offering on November 8 and has appointed Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan as joint global co-ordinators and, together with Morgan Stanley and VTB Capital, joint bookrunners.

Billionaire Alisher Usmanov owns around 34 percent of Mail.ru and South Africa’s Naspers has 28.7 percent.

(Writing by Toni Vorobyova; Editing by David Cowell)

Facebook investor Mail.ru eyes up to $876 million in IPO