MRSK looking at acquisitions in eastern Europe, CIS

Thu Dec 8, 2011 2:31pm GMT

Quotes

   

* CFO says not currently in talks with anyone

* Completes technical listing in London

* Shares rise 0.64 pct in Moscow, flat in London

By Adveith Nair

LONDON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Russian power grid company MRSK (MRKH.MM) MRKHxq.L is looking for acquisitions in Eastern Europe, a top executive said on Thursday, after the company completed its London listing.

"Acquisitions are a part of our strategy," chief financial officer Alexey Demidov told Reuters in an interview. "We are interested in some Eastern European companies, and also in CIS."

Demidov did not disclose how much the company intended to spend, adding it was not in talks with anyone. "There were some talks a month or so go, but it was not realised as the price mentioned was not (acceptable) from the point of view of our financial model."

MRSK's technical listing in London comprised 25 percent of its stock, the maximum allowed, listed as global depositary receipts, with the company not raising any money.

"We wanted to make (investing) more attractive for our current shareholders, as well as to widen shareholder base from the point of view of international investors," Demidov said about the listing.

The London listing is aimed at getting greater investor exposure ahead of a possible privatisation after President Dmitry Medvedev said it might make sense to further privatise MRSK to boost efficiency in the power sector.[ID:nLDE69P1XJ]

Russia owns a more than 50 percent controlling stake in MRSK, while state-controlled Gazprom (GAZP.MM) has 10 percent.

"We are interested in attracting new kinds of investors like long-term, international pension funds," Demidov added. "For that, we have to be here."

Rival state-controlled grid firm FSK (FEES.MM) (FEESq.L) completed the listing of its secondary shares in London at the end of March. [ID:nLDE72R0HP]

A wave of Russian companies have recently sought premium listings of their shares, with some large enough to seek inclusion in the FTSE-100 Index.

Mining companies Polymetal (POLYP.L) and Evraz (EVRE.L) recently started trading as premium companies. Russian potash miner Uralkali (URKA.MM) has also said it is considering a full stock market listing in London next year.

MRSK's Moscow-traded shares were up 0.64 percent at 2.69 roubles at 1230 GMT. Its shares were flat at 17 pence in London.

(Reporting by Adveith Nair and Megan Davies)

((adveith.nair@thomsonreuters.com)(+44 20 7542 2384)(Reuters Messaging: adveith.nair.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MRSK/INTERVIEW

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