Russian web venture weighs up $876m float

MAIL.RU, a Facebook investor and web business, is looking to raise up to $876m (£558m) by offering a 16 per cent stake in a planned London initial public offering (IPO) which could pave the way for other Russian internet firms to float.

However, most of the money will go to the current shareholders rather than the company, whose revenues reached $108.7m in the first half of this year.

Mail.ru, which holds a 2.38 per cent stake in Facebook, said yesterday it would sell 3.03m new shares in the form of global depository receipts (GDRs) and 28.59m shares held by current shareholders in the IPO at between $23.70 and $27.70 each.

The pricing would put Mail.ru’s pre-placement value between $4.78bn and $5.63bn, with the listing – equal to around 16 per cent of its shares – set to bring in between $749m and $876m.

Billionaire and Arsenal football club investor Alisher Usmanov owns around 34 per cent of Mail.ru.