Russia's largest footwear retailer, Tsentrobuv, has postponed its IPO until spring 2013, but is preparing to conduct a private placement now. As it became known, the company offers pre-IPO-funds to buy back 5-10% of their shares for $ 100-200 million. A big name among shareholders should inspire investor confidence in a public offering, the current owners of the chain are sure. The fact that "Tsentrobuv" is looking for portfolio investors from among Western investment funds, said a source in banking circles. Co-owner of the network Sergey Lomakin specified that 5-10% of the shares could be sold: the current shareholders of the network will proportionally reduce their stakes in the event of a deal. Apart from Mr. Lomakin, the co-owners of the company are considered to be his former partner in the Kopeyka network, Artem Khachatryan (at the end of 2009, they owned approximately 33% of the retailer for two), the founders of Tsentrobuvi, Anatoly Gurevich and Dmitry Svetlov (they have, according to Kommersant , a controlling stake) and the founder of the Pronto-Moscow publishing house Leonid Makaron (may own up to 10%). Now "Tsentrobuv" is already negotiating with several investment funds, says Sergei Lomakin, but stresses that no documents have been signed.
The owners estimate the entire Tsentrobuv at $ 2 billion, and 5-10% at $ 100-200 million, says a source familiar with the retailer's proposal. Centrobuvi's forecast for revenue this year is $ 1,7 billion, that is, the entire chain was estimated at 1,2 annual sales. Morgan Stanley is advising on the deal. A bank spokesman declined to comment.
Tsentrobuv unites more than 950 own and franchised shoe stores under the Tsentrobuv and Centro brands in Russia, Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic States. According to Tsentrobuvi's data, revenue in 2011 amounted to just over $ 1 billion. It is the largest shoe retailer in Russia.
The private placement is interesting for Tsentrobuvi primarily by the emergence of a bright name among shareholders on the eve of the IPO, explains Sergey Lomakin. “This will inspire confidence in investors,” he said. For the first time, Tsentrobuv announced its intention to conduct a public offering in February 2011, the listing was originally planned for the autumn of the same year, but was canceled due to unfavorable market conditions. London and Hong Kong stock exchanges were considered as platforms, where the company expected to raise up to $ 800 million. Renaissance Capital, Morgan Stanley, VTB Capital and Bank of China Investments acted as consultants for the deal. Plans to hold an IPO remain, says Mr. Lomakin, but most likely it will take place in the spring of 2013. “If we decide to do a premium listing (placement of shares, not depositary receipts.), Then it will be 25% of the capital,” he said.
Ex-co-owner of the Victoria group of companies (Victoria, Kvartal, Deshevo chains; sold to Dixy in 2011) Alexander Zaribko says that usually pre-IPO funds invest two to three years before the placement of companies on the exchange.
Alexey Krivoshapko, director of Prosperity Capital Management, believes that the current market situation is unfavorable for both IPOs and pre-IPO investments. His fund received an offer from Tsentrobuvi, but considers the declared value of the shares to be high. The manager of Russia Partners Vladimir Andrienko, who was considering the possibility of buying a minority stake in the chain, also thinks that Tsentrobuvi is overpriced. Other investment funds surveyed by Kommersant, including the American TPG Capital (owns a controlling stake in the Lenta hypermarket chain) and the Swedish East Capital, have not yet seen the retailer's offer.
The proceeds from the sale of the minority package will be directed by Tsentrobuv to the development of the network in the CIS and Europe, says Sergey Lomakin. By the end of 2012, the number of Centro stores in Poland and Ukraine will be increased to 65 and 100, respectively, in 2013 it is planned to double the number of outlets, including through M&A transactions, writes Kommersant.