Sitronics raises $352m in IPO

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Sitronics, the Russian technology company, on Wednesday priced its initial public offering at the bottom end of the expected range, raisng $352.6m and giving the company a market capitalisation of $2.3bn (£1.16bn).

The group, part of Russian billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov’s Sistema group, said it would sell shares at 24 cents a share and $12 for each global depositary receipt.

Sitronics will list its GDRs on the London Stock Exchange and place its ordinary shares on the RTS and Moscow Stock Exchanges.

The company plans to sell some 17.5 per cent of its share capital, making this the largest technology IPO in London for more than five years, although companies such as CSR, Wolfson Microelectronics, Phoenix IT and Micro Focus made full listings on the exchange.

Sitronics, which provides telecommunications software and equipment and services to customers mainly in Russia and Eastern Europe, said it planned to use 50 per cent of the money raised for acquisitions, including the consolidation of minority interests in subsidiaries.

Some 25 per cent of funds will go towards repaying debt, with the remainder to be used for working capital.

About 77 per cent of Sitronics shares are owned by Sistema, which is controlled by Mr Yevtushenkov – Russia’s 11th richest man, according to Russian Forbes magazine.

The Sitronics floatation is part of a flurry of activity from Sistema in the capital markets in recent years.

Sistema itself raised $1.3bn in its IPO in London in February 2005 and floated its property development group, Sistema-Hals, two months ago.

It also has plans to float Intourist, its travel agency business.

Sitronics’ revenue in the nine months to September 30 was $1.05bn, up from $699m in the first six months of the year.

Trading in Sitronics shares is expected to start on February 12.

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