Russian online retailer Ozon targets US$1b in US IPO

A view shows the pick-up point of the Ozon online retailer in Moscow, Russia March 16, 2020. — Reuters pic
A view shows the pick-up point of the Ozon online retailer in Moscow, Russia March 16, 2020. — Reuters pic
MOSCOW, Nov 17 — Russian online retailer Ozon Holdings aims to raise nearly US$1 billion (RM4 billion) in a US initial public offering (IPO) to capitalise on an e-commerce boom in Russia due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Like most e-commerce firms, Ozon has seen online orders surge as pandemic lockdown measures keep people at home.

In a regulatory filing, privately-owned Ozon said it planned to issue 30 million American depositary shares (ADS) at between US$22.50 and US$27.50 each, raising up to US$825 million.

If underwriters buy up to 4.5 million more ADS, Ozon might raise as much as US$948.8 million, it said in the updated prospectus submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC).

The company, in which Russian conglomerate Sistema and private equity firm Baring Vostok each have 45 per cent stakes, plans to list the shares on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “OZON”.

It is also considering a technical listing of its ADS in Moscow along with or shortly after its US IPO.

Sistema and Baring Vostok would buy shares worth US$67.5 million each in concurrent private placements at a price per share equal to the IPO price per ADS, the prospectus said.

After the deal, Ozon’s new investors would own 19 per cent of its shares, provided that the underwriters exercised their option to purchase additional ADSs in full, the prospectus said.

The Covid-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdowns allowed the Russian e-commerce market to grow by 51 per cent in the first six months of the year compared to the same period of 2019, the prospectus said, with full-year growth seen at 34 per cent.

Ozon, which aims to use the IPO proceeds to expand, plans to close the books on November 23, three financial market sources told Reuters today. — Reuters

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