Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Russian Gold Billionaire Testing Foreign Waters With Share Offer

  • Russia’s biggest gold miner to sell shares in Moscow, London
  • Offering of 7%-9% stake values Polyus as high as $9 billion

Polyus PJSC plans to raise as much as $810 million selling shares in Moscow and London this month in a sign Russian mining tycoons are seeking to return to international stock markets.

The nation’s biggest gold producer, controlled by the family of billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, plans to offer a 7 to 9 percent stake at a price valuing the business as high as $9 billion, according to a company filing.

Kerimov is among Russians testing foreign waters after recent years when weak commodity prices, U.S.-led sanctions against the country and prodding from the Kremlin to favor Moscow listings saw local companies pull back from overseas markets. En+ Group Ltd., controlled by billionaire Oleg Deripaska, may seek a $2 billion initial public offering in London and Moscow after the summer, according to people familiar with the matter.

Polyus’s parent, Polyus Gold International Ltd., delisted from London in late 2015 after the Kerimov family bought up stock in a plan to domicile in Russia.

The new sale is priced at $33.25 to $35.30 per global depository share, equivalent to $66.50 to $70.60 an ordinary share. That values the company at about $8.48 billion to $9 billion on a "pre-money fully diluted basis," according to the statement. The deal is expected to be closed by June 30 with some shares traded as GDRs on the London Stock Exchange.

Shares Sink

Polyus shares fell 2.3 percent in Moscow as the upper-end of the offer range represents about a 9 percent discount to yesterday’s closing level. Polyus Gold International, with about a 92 percent stake, previously agreed to sell shares to a Chinese group led by Fosun International Ltd. at $70.6025, or a total of $887 million, according to May 31 statement.

Polyus is selling stock to meet Moscow Exchange free-float requirements to retain a primary listing. Currently, only about 7 percent of the shares are available on the Russian market. It will use proceeds from new ordinary shares to repay part of the group’s indebtedness, as well as financing operations, project developments and capital expenditure.

Polyus announced plans for a 7 percent offering on June 5, saying at the time that it expected proceeds of $400 million.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., VTB Capital and Sberbank CIB are joint coordinators and bookrunners of the deal, while BMO Capital Markets, Gazprombank, Morgan Stanley are joint bookrunners. The company said the joint bookrunners have an option to buy additional securities representing up to 10 percent of the offering.

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