Severstal gold unit hoping for $1.5bn on IPO
Nord Gold, which says it needs the money to pay down debts to its owner, Severstal, said it will price new and existing shares at between 3.00 and 3.90 pounds each
Posted: Thursday , 27 Jan 2011
MOSCOW (Reuters) -
Russian mining group Severstal's gold unit Nord Gold is seeking up to 933 million pounds ($1.5 billion) from a London float, pushing the hoped-for total from Russian IPO hopefuls past $3 billion for 2011.
The company, which said it needs cash to pay debt to owner Severstal as well as to fund exploration, said on Thursday it would price new and existing shares at between 3.00 and 3.90 pounds each, valuing the group at up to 3.2 billion pounds.
Nord Gold is the fourth Russian company to announce a London IPO pricing this month, more than any other country.
Analysts say a sharp rise in Russian shares as well as high oil prices have helped swell demand for newly-listed Russian companies, while some have predicted $30 billion could be raised by Russian private issuers this year -- in line with the last boom year of 2007.
Russia's dollar-traded RTS index is up 18 percent since the start of December -- including a 1.7 percent rise on Wednesday -- while the FTSE 100 is up 8 percent.
Gold companies are also in vogue as the precious metal, seen as a safe haven by investors during uncertain economic times, hovers just below historic highs following a record advance late last year.
Russian firms HMS Hydraulic, KOKS and ChelPipe have also unveiled IPO price ranges this week, between them hoping for an estimated $1.86 billion.
A successful Nord Gold float would bring the total to $3.3 billion, compared with $5.5 billion for the whole of last year.
Nord Gold said it hoped to raise a little over half the proceeds from new shares and the rest from the sale of existing stock owned by Severstal.
The company was set up in 2007 and last year produced around 589,000 ounces from its mines in Russia, Kazakhstan and West Africa.
This puts it ahead of Polymetal, which produced 444,000 ounces last year, but some way below Russia's biggest gold miner Polyus Gold, which produced 1.3 million ounces in 2009.
Nord Gold said Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Moscow's Troika Dialog are joint bookrunners to the offering. (Editing by Toni Vorobyova and David Holmes) ($1=.6287 Pound)
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