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Russian online retailer Ozon targets $1 billion in U.S. IPO

Russian online retailer Ozon Holdings aims to raise nearly $1 billion in a U.S. initial public offering (IPO) to capitalise on an e-commerce boom in Russia due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Like most e-commerce firms, Ozon has seen online orders surge as pandemic lockdown measures keep people at home.

In a regulatory filing, privately-owned Ozon said it planned to issue 30 million American depositary shares (ADS) at between $22.50 and $27.50 each, raising up to $825 million.

If underwriters buy up to 4.5 million more ADS, Ozon might raise as much as $948.8 million, it said in the updated prospectus submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC).

The company, in which Russian conglomerate Sistema and private equity firm Baring Vostok each have 45% stakes, plans to list the shares on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “OZON”.

It is also considering a technical listing of its ADS in Moscow along with or shortly after its U.S. IPO.

Sistema and Baring Vostok would buy shares worth $67.5 million each in concurrent private placements at a price per share equal to the IPO price per ADS, the prospectus said.

After the deal, Ozon’s new investors would own 19% of its shares, provided that the underwriters exercised their option to purchase additional ADSs in full, the prospectus said.

The COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdowns allowed the Russian e-commerce market to grow by 51% in the first six months of the year compared to the same period of 2019, the prospectus said, with full-year growth seen at 34%.

Ozon, which aims to use the IPO proceeds to expand, plans to close the books on Nov. 23, three financial market sources told Reuters on Wednesday. Reuters

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