Failed take off for float of heli firm

KREMLIN-BACKED defence firm Russian Helicopters has pulled its joint Moscow and London initial public offering (IPO) after failing to find sufficient demand for its shares, sources close to the deal told City A.M. last night.

Russia’s primary helicopter maker had been looking to finalise a price for its shares by today, in a sale that would have netted the country’s government more than $250m (£153m).

The total size of its share offer, including new shares in the company, had been set to exceed $500m, and the business was set to be valued at up to $2.4bn.

But backers Oboronprom, the holding company through which the Kremlin owns a string of defence firms, did not want to let the IPO go for a price below its expectations.

Management and bankers from BNP Paribas, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and VTB Capital had scrambled to woo investors in a global roadshow that ended in disappointment yesterday.

Investors are said to have been keen on the firm, although felt cheaper emerging market opportunities could be found.

Russian Helicopters had set the price range for its float at between $19 and $25 per share and global depository receipt at the end of last month.

The firm is the latest in a string of companies to put their London listing plans on ice following a rocky period for stock market floats.