Mail.ru seeks $876m in London IPO
Russia's Mail.ru hopes to raise up to $876 million via an IPO in London next month, which would value the email and social networking giant at up to $5.71 billion.
The company, which owns stakes in Facebook and Zynga, has announced plans to sell 3.03 million new and 28.59 existing shares, priced at between $23.70 and $27.70 each, it said in a regulatory filing.
The proceeds from the IPO will go towards the purchase of an extra 7.5% stake in Russian social network service vKontakte, to bring mail.ru's holding to 32.49%.
The IPO has been underwritten, with Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and VTB Capital to serve as bookrunners for the deal.
But analysts have expressed concern that the valuation is too high, as its enterprise value to ebitda ratio is higher than internet companies anywhere other than in China, the Wall Street Journal said. Even at the middle price range, new Mail.ru investors would pay around 30 times the company's estimated earnings for 2010.
The Mail.ru group operates the Mail.ru email and social gaming site – the third most popular website in Russia, according to Alexa. The group holds minority stakes in Facebook and online gaming company Zynga, as well as the ICQ IM service and social network Odnoklassniki.ru.
vKontakte is Russia's largest social networking site with 27.8 million visitors, followed by Odnoklassniki with 16.7 million, according to a ComScore study released last week.