14 December – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Linklaters has advise…

14 December – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Linklaters has advised UBS Limited and Merrill Lynch International as joint lead managers and joint bookrunners on the initial public offering of OJSC Novolipetsk Steel (known as NLMK), one of Russia’s largest steelmakers. The offering closed today.

The IPO consists of a global offering outside of Russia and London listing of Global Depositary Shares (‘GDS’), and an offering of shares outside of the United States. The shares are already traded on the RTS Stock Exchange. It is a secondary offering of existing shares by a company controlled by NLMK’s Chairman, Vladimir Lisin, who owned approximately 90 per cent of the company prior to the offering and retains a majority stake following the offering.

The offering of 420,000,000 shares in the form of ordinary shares and GDSs (subject to an over-allotment option to purchase a further 63,000,000 shares in the form of GDSs) was priced at US$1.45 per ordinary share and US$14.50 per GDS, implying a market capitalisation of US$8.7bn.

Linklaters provided US, English and Russian legal advice to the underwriters. The multi-jurisdictional, cross-practice team was led by Larry Vranka, Pete Allen, Dmitry Dobatkin and Brigid Rentoul.

Larry Vranka, partner at Linklaters, said: “This is one of the biggest market capitalisation IPOs on the London Stock Exchange of the past five years and another in a series of major Russian corporates choosing to seek an overseas listing in London. The deal is structured as a combined international and local offering based on a single book, which is a reflection of the growing maturity and internationalisation of the Russian equity market. It is the third London listed Russian IPO on which we have advised this year, which we think reflects the increasing demand from our global banking and corporate clients for integrated, high quality US, UK and Russian advice from a single firm.”

The other advisers included Debevoise & Plimpton – US and English counsel to the company and selling shareholder and Reznick Gagarin Abushakhmin & Partners – Russian counsel to the company and selling shareholder.

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