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Russia Online Retailer Ozon Raises $990 Million in U.S. IPO

Ilya Khrennikov
·3-min read

(Bloomberg) -- Russian online retailer Ozon Holdings Plc will raise $990 million in its initial public offering in the U.S., taking advantage of demand for technology stocks amid the busiest fourth quarter for new listings since 1999.

Ozon priced 33 million shares at $30 apiece, the company said in a statement Tuesday. This exceeded guidance of $22.50 to $27.50 per share, while the offering size is 10% higher than initially planned. Ozon surged on its first trading day in the U.S. after the IPO. The shares were up 42% to $42.50 at 1:22 p.m. in New York.

Ozon plans to use the IPO proceeds for general corporate purposes. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley are managing the sale along with Citigroup Inc., UBS Group AG and three Russian banks. The underwriters have an option to buy as many as 4.95 million shares within 30 days.

The listing will contribute to a spate of technology IPOs this year that have raised more than $59 billion globally, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Ozon’s share sale adds to what’s already been the busiest fourth quarter in the U.S. since 1999, the data show.

Ozon is the largest Russian listing since EN+ Group Plc in 2017 and the first Russian business to sell shares in the U.S. since Kismet Acquisition One Corp.’s black-check IPO in August.

It comes as investors flock to technology companies in emerging markets, with Polish ecommerce platform Allegro.eu SA raising 9.2 billion zloty ($2.4 billion) in September in Warsaw’s largest-ever listing. The shares have risen 78% since then.

Pandemic Shopping

Separately, existing shareholders Sistema PJSFC and funds managed by Baring Vostok Capital Partners agreed to purchase $135 million of Ozon shares at the IPO price. Their stakes were each about 45% before the IPO, according to the prospectus. The companies said they will own as little as 33% each after the deal and the possible conversion of convertible loans.

Ozon, like other ecommerce companies, has seen sales jump during the pandemic as consumers switched to shopping online. The company posted a 70% gain in revenue in the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in 2019.

Read More: Polish Online Retailer Allegro Surges 63% in Market Debut

Ozon started selling books online in 1998 and later expanded to electronics, toys and other items. It competes with Wildberries and AliExpress Russia, a joint venture run by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Mail.ru Group Ltd. Russian internet operator Yandex NV is also expanding into ecommerce.

The IPO price valued Ozon at $6.2 billion, including loans and options convertible into shares, Forbes Russia magazine reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

(Updates with share move at the start of trading in the second paragraph.)

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