Russia’s Whoosh eyes US$400m valuation in upcoming IPO

MOSCOW, Dec 5 — Russian electric scooter firm Whoosh said today it’s eyeing a possible US$400 million (RM1.7 billion) valuation in its upcoming initial public offering (IPO), the first Russian market debut since Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February.

The company said in a statement it expects up to 5 billion roubles (RM350 million) of shares could be sold in the IPO — both through an additional stock issue and as existing shareholders sell down their stakes — at a launch price of between 185-225 roubles per share.

Although modest in size, Whoosh’s stock market debut will be seen as a key test of the health of Russia’s capital markets more than nine months after the West imposed punishing sanctions on Moscow for its actions in Ukraine, cutting much of Russia’s financial sector off from Western investment.

“Whoosh’s IPO may be the first one on the Russian market this year… we are glad to see that our intention to hold an IPO has received a big response from the investment community” founder and general director Dmitry Chuyko said today.

Proceeds from the IPO will be used to invest in more scooters and continue expanding across Russia and other ex-Soviet countries, the company said.

At least 10 Russian companies had been looking to go public in 2022, advisers and bankers said late last year, before Russia’s IPO market stalled following the launch of what the Kremlin calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Whoosh said the company’s market capitalisation following the IPO could be 21-25 billion roubles, based on the target prices and offer size.

The company said 2.5 billion roubles could be raised through an additional share issue, and existing shareholders also planned to sell up to 2.5 billion roubles to boost trading liquidity.

The deal is expected to close by mid-December. — Reuters

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