Usmanov plans £12.5bn flotation of MegaFon in London


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The Independent Online

Yet another Russian company is set to list in London as Alisher Usmanov, the country's richest man, moves ahead with plans for a £12.5bn flotation of his mobile phone giant, MegaFon.

Mr Usmanov, who is the second biggest shareholder in Arsenal football club, has asked Russia's markets regulator for permission to list 20 per cent of MegaFon's proxy shares in London.

The flotation could raise as much as £2.5bn, according to Reuters in Moscow. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have been lined up for the float.

Mr Usmanov, pictured, took control of MegaFon, Russia's third biggest mobile operator, in April. He has been keen on investment opportunities in the UK, building a stake of close to 30 per cent in Arsenal.

Several other Russian companies have come to London to list in recent years as they see the City as a better place to raise money and it has higher corporate governance standards. The companies have included the internet firm, the oil producer Rusptero and the mining groups Evraz, Polyus Gold and Nord Gold.

Others, such as Russian Helicopters and O1 Properties, have dropped plans to float amid investor uncertainty. Some in the City have expressed concern about buying shares in foreign companies, particularly if only a small stake is publicly listed.

One of the worst performers has been the Indonesian mining firm Bumi, whose shares slumped by two-thirds.