This article from the Russian news service RIA Novosti just for the record (it first appeared in July 2008). Mail.ru is a Russian internet company. I republished without changing anything (in case some sentences don’t make sense!):
Mail.ru shareholders have not abandoned plans to offer their company’s stock on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), CEO Dmitry Grishin told Kommersant on Tuesday.
“We have decided to postpone the IPO for a year. The reason is simple: all shareholders who wanted to sell their stakes have done so, and it makes no sense to step up the process.”
Mail.ru has never in the past confirmed its listing plans officially. A source close to the company said Port.ru Inc. will carry out the IPO. It owns netBridge Ltd., a 100% owner of Mail.ru.
Grishin said that in July the list of Mail.ru beneficiaries was overhauled, but now can be considered fixed until the public offering.
A source close to the company said Tiger Global Management, an American investment foundation, last week sold 14.55% of its 27.95% stake in Mail.ru to Digital Sky Technologies (DST), managed by Yury Milner, a former director of Concern Neftyanoi, and Grigory Finger, executive director of NCH Advisers. The source said Tiger had initiated Mail.ru’s IPO in 2008 to take profit.
Currently, he said, 50.55% of Mail.ru is controlled by DST, 13.4% by Tiger, and 32.6% by the South African media company Naspers Ltd., with the rest belonging to minority shareholders, including Dmitry Grishin.
Sources in some investment banks, including Deutsche Bank and Renaissance Capital, say the list of DST owners is now also changed and includes businessman Alisher Usmanov. The Mail.ru top manager said Usmanov has obtained 30% in DST.
As the Mail.ru IPO was scheduled for the third quarter of 2008, no new share issue was planned. Citibank, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse wanted to underwrite it.
“Mail.ru finally chose Goldman Sachs,” said an official of one of these banks.
Goldman Sachs yesterday declined to comment.
“As far as we know, the owners of the Internet resource planned to sell between 25% and 40% in the company, i.e. not only Tiger wanted to take profit. But the situation on the financial markets would not have allowed them to secure adequate capital. There was even a strong urge to cancel the IPO,” said Ivan Shuvalov, a senior Alfa Bank analyst.
Under the current setup, he believes, Mail.ru can look to a capitalization of $1.5 billion at the most, while shareholders want $2 billion.
PS. Let’s hope someone asks Mail.ru soon what has happened to their listing plans.