Russia Rail Carrier NTS Plans IPO, Said to Seek $500 Million

NTS Holding Plc, the Russian freight company that bought steelmaker Evraz Plc’s rail carrier two months ago, hired JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Renaissance Capital for an initial public offering in London.

The company also known as Neftetransservice plans to sell global depositary receipts equivalent to 25 percent of the company’s shares, it said in a regulatory filing today. NTS may be valued at between $1.2 billion and $1.4 billion, based on the valuation of its closest peer, Globaltrans Investment Plc, according to IFC Metropol in Moscow. The company is seeking to raise $500 million, said a person with knowledge of the plans, who asked not to be identified before the deal is completed.

Russian companies boosted equity offerings by 29 percent to $12.8 billion last year, including $2.5 billion of IPOs, Ovanes Oganisian, a strategist at Sberbank Investment Research in Moscow, said by phone. Share sales may rise to $20 billion this year as the government sells assets, he said. NTS, which had 57,000 railcars, bought EvrazTrans, a captive railroad carrier of billionaire Roman Abramovich’s Evraz in November. NTS carries oil for producers including OAO Rosneft and TNK-BP.

“The time to sell isn’t perfect though as cargo loadings started to decline,” said Andrey Rozhkov, an analyst at Metropol,

citing data from OAO Russian Railways.

NTS earned 13.5 billion rubles ($440 million) before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and had 41.7 billion rubles of net debt in the nine months through September 2012, the company said in the statement.