Euroset float hits a bout of nervousness

David Hellier
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NERVOUSNESS in London’s IPO market spread yesterday as it emerged that the Russian mobile phone retailer Euroset was considering scaling back its flotation plans.

The group originally aimed to raise up to $1.3bn (£799m) from investors through a combination of new shares and stock sold principally by Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut, who owns 50.1 per cent of the firm.

However, bankers yesterday described the bookbuilding process as “challenging” and some thought that a much scaled-down plan might be unveiled today, if the float goes ahead at all.

“It’s going slow now, with the offer price close to the lower end of the price range,” one banker said.”What is guaranteed, for now, is enough demand for the primary offering of new Euroset shares.”

Sources said that the banks, which include Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Alpha Bank, were not giving any indication yesterday that the issue had been covered.

In contrast, those acting on the flotation of the Russian property group Etalon gave a positive message, indicating that it should go ahead.

Some said that the Euroset issue had been overpriced, given the current market conditions.

Earlier this week the advisers of online payments group Skrill pulled its flotation at the last moment after receiving inadequate demand for the shares. That decision followed the cancellation of the flotation of vacuum technology group Edwards.