Ruspetro IPO gets the nod

David Hellier
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THE Russian-based oil explorer Ruspetro became the first company in 2012 to get a London main market float off the ground yesterday as investors gave the thumbs-up to a $250m (£163m) fund-raising.

Ruspetro priced the shares at 134p yesterday evening, towards the lower end of the range. But advisers said they were delighted with the response, given delicate market conditions.

Yesterday’s pricing followed a few days of intense but quiet marketing. Just before Christmas the banks had also done some pre-marketing, known as pilot fishing, to test the market for a flotation.

The issue of new shares means the free float will be well above 25 per cent, the minimum level demanded by corporate governance experts and the UK listings authority. The group, which has debts of around $300m, is expected to have a couple of independent directors on its board.

Shares are due to begin trading on Thursday.



London’s first sizeable IPO of the year is being led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Merrill’s team, working under Andrea Orcel, includes Paul Wheeler, Julian Mylchreest and Paul Frankfurt. The bank has been involved in numerous high-profile deals in recent months, including acting as lead underwriter for UniCredit’s massive €7.5bn rights issue.

Merrill Lynch’s team is being supported by bookrunners Mirabaud Securities, for whom Peter Krens is the lead on this deal, and Renaissance Capital. Renaissance advised on a number of IPOs in 2011, including Phosagro and Etalon.