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Pre-IPO investors lining up for Rusal offering, include J. Paulson, Rothschild, maybe BlackRock

Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Opalesque Industry Updates - The Russian aluminum giant UC Rusal is planning an IPO of $2bn in Hong Kong in January, according to various press reports - as it is trying to raise cash to restructure its debts. This IPO has attracted a list of well-know investors.

The main four investors, according to the WSJ, are Malaysian-Chinese tycoon Robert Kuok, a member of the Kuok Group whose principle business is Hong Kong-listed Kerry Properties Ltd.; blue-blood hedge fund manager Nathaniel Rothschild through NR Investments; Paulson & Co., the hedge fund run by John Paulson; and Russian state development bank Vneshekonombank, or VEB.

These “cornerstone” investors, who will buy shares before the listing, will be guaranteed shares in the IPO in exchange for a pledge not to sell them for several months, said BusinessWeek.

BlackRock may also be among the cornerstone investors, Reuters reported.

BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are showing signs of recovery in the new issue market. This summer, Russian steel producer Evraz Group raised $900m via a combined equity sale and convertible bond in the largest Russian ECM deal in more than a year, according to data provider Dealogic, Financial News reported.

Two of the world’s biggest IPOs this year were from BRICS countries (China State Construction Engineering Corp and the Brazilian affiliate of Visa Inc known as VisaNet). Barton Biggs, who runs New York-based hedge fund Traxis Partners, told Bloomberg “No question, it shows the growing power of the BRICs. Clearly the BRICs are the big growth areas of the world and will need a lot of foreign capital.”

Russell Julius, global head of equity capital markets at HSBC, said investors look at emerging markets as a leveraged play on GDP growth so the first companies that tend to list are banks, telecoms firms and property-related businesses.


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