Big free float for Ruspetro

David Hellier
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RUSSIAN oil firm Ruspetro would have a free float of more than 25 per cent if it lists in London in the first quarter of next year, sources told City A.M. yesterday.

The group is planning a London listing, making the company the latest Russian resource company to seek liquidity and international profile on the UK’s index.

The free float will be comfortably above 25 per cent given the amount of money that needs to be raised by the company, which is around £250m. Currently it is owned by a series of different shareholders.

The source said the flotation of the company, which owns oil assets in Siberia, could occur in the first quarter of 2012.

Ruspetro has hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch to handle the process along with Mirabaud’s Peter Krens. The appointment is a good one for BoA Merrill Lynch which last Friday won industry bible IFR’s European Equity Capital Markets House of the Year for the first time since 2006.

The company needs £160m to repay loans and develop its oilfields, where it hopes to grow oil output to 70,000 barrels a day in five years time from its current 4,500 barrel level, according to reports.

Two Russian companies which have recently floated in London, precious metals miner Polymetal and steel maker Evraz, will become the first Russian companies in the FTSE 100 when they start trading on the index today.

Others queuing up for London IPOs include Polyus Gold, which is still in the process of gaining approval for a listing, as well as potash firm Uralkali and Eurasia Drilling, which have both expressed interest in full London listings.