Russia's Usmanov to keep control over MegaFon-prospectus

MOSCOW Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:44am GMT

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MOSCOW Nov 15 (Reuters) - Russia's richest man Alisher Usmanov is to own 100 percent of the voting rights of a holding company he is setting up with his partners, through which he will maintain his control over mobile operator Megafon, according to MegaFon's IPO prospectus.

The preliminary prospectus for the offering said that Usmanov had reached a definitive shareholders agreement on the restructuring, securing a 60 percent economic interest in the company, USM Holdings, while his partners will own 40 percent.

The prospectus, obtained by Reuters, left the date of the agreement blank.

Farhad Moshiri, with whom Usmanov owns a stake in London soccer club Arsenal, will own 10 percent while Vladimir Skoch, father of billionaire lawmaker Andrei Skoch, who helped build up Metalloinvest, the world's fifth largest iron ore company, will own 30 percent.

Usmanov told Reuters in an interview in September that the holding company would own stakes in MegaFon, Metalloinvest and Internet firms such as Facebook and Groupon.

It would have annual profits of around $7 billion and turnover of up to $25 billion, he said.

Goldman Sachs in October dropped out as an underwriter of MegaFon's IPO, which one source familiar with the situation said at the time was due to unspecified shareholding concerns that were not related to Usmanov.

A separate source familiar with the situation said earlier in November that if the ownership structure was a concern to UK regulator the UKLA, another solution could be sought. The UKLA gave MegaFon's IPO the green light last week, sources said.

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