April 3, 2018 / 8:43 AM / 19 days ago

Cherkizovo launches Moscow share offering, aims for over $300 mln

MOSCOW, April 3 (Reuters) - Cherkizovo, Russia’s biggest meat producer, announced an offering of primary and secondary shares in Moscow worth over $300 million, a fourth share offering by a Russian company this year.

A number of Russian companies are on track with plans for share offerings in Moscow and abroad despite a diplomatic row with some European countries led by Britain over the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy - a matter in which Moscow denies any role.

Cherkizovo decided to cancel its London listing due to low trading from February and has moved to consolidate its free-float and trading of its shares in Moscow.

Cherkizovo said on Tuesday that its existing shareholders, including MB Capital Europe Ltd, indirectly controlled by members of the Mikhailov and Babaev family, plan to sell some of their shares, with the number to be set during the book building.

The offering also will include 2,916,759 shares or around 6.63 percent of shares outstanding sold by APK Mikhailovsky, a Cherkizovo unit.

MB Capital Europe Ltd may sell additional shares for the purpose of covering over-allotments, the company said.

The offering of APK Mikhailovsky and the top-up will represent the primary component and is expected to bring up to $150 million.

The primary proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, including repayment of debt and potential acquisitions.

The remainder of the offering by the existing shareholders will represent the secondary component, and its size is expected to exceed the size of the primary component.

“The Russian meat market offers material upside potential driven by the recovering macroeconomic fundamentals, shifting consumer preferences and consolidation opportunities,” Chief Executive Sergei Mikhailov said in a statement.

“Cherkizovo is well-positioned to capitalise on the market’s growth and consolidation in the coming years.”

Cherkizovo said that after the deal, the founding family intends to maintain strategic control by retaining a majority stake.

Currently, MB Capital Europe Ltd owns 82.5 percent in Cherkizovo and Spanish agricultural holding company Grupo Fuertes owns 8 percent stake.

Russian recruiting company HeadHunter Group filed documents on Monday for an IPO at NASDAQ in New York aiming to raise up to $250 million.

Last month, Russian state utility InterRAO raised around $73 million by selling shares in Moscow while banking group TCS raised $80 million.

Reporting by Katya Golubkova; editing by Jason Neely

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