Usmanov rings up £4bn as mobile phone firm floats

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The Independent Online

Alisher Usmanov, Russia's richest man and an Arsenal shareholder, will add yet more to his vast wealth after his country's second largest mobile phone company is floated in London.

MegaFon is controlled by Mr Usmanov, who is worth more than £12bn according to The Sunday Times "Rich List". The company had previously put off a London listing due to market turbulence, but is now set to press ahead by the end of the year.

MegaFon is expected to raise about $2bn (£1.25bn) with a sale of 15 per cent of its shares, which would value the entire concern at £8.3bn and Mr Usmanov's stake at more than £4bn.

Mr Usmanov also has a near-30 per cent stake in Arsenal after buying into the north London club in 2007. MegaFon has 62.1 million mobile customers in Russia, where it is outpacing its rivals, and plans to use the proceeds of the deal to pay down debts.

The company's co-owner, the Swedish telecoms company TeliaSonera, is planning to sell down its current 36.5 per cent stake but will keep a holding of at least 25 per cent.

The float also looks like triggering a major payday for Morgan Stanley and Sberbank, the two joint bookrunners for the initial public offering.

Another fillip for the London market came yesterday as European property company PointPark Properties (P3) announced plans to raise £250m in the sector's first float for two years.

The listing should leave P3's owner, Bahrain's Arcapita Bank, with a 15 per cent equity stake and value the business at around £360m. P3 owns 46 industrial warehouses based mainly in France and Germany and central Europe, although it is considering expansion in the UK.

The company is chaired by the former Segro chief executive and property veteran Ian Coull.