Leading Russian online job search portal HeadHunter is being valued at $550 million-$675 million ahead of the initial public offering (IPO) of 32 percent of its capital as American depositary shares (ADS) on Nasdaq, the company said on April 26, announcing a price range of $11-$13.5 per share or $179 million-$220 million for the whole placement.
The underwriters of the issue Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, VTB Capital, BofA Merril Lynch, and Sberbank CIB will also retain a 30-day option on 5 percent of the company's shares.
While not a single IPO or secondary public offering (SPO) was seen in 2018, since the start of this year a number of companies have announced deals including Polyus Gold which raised $390 million from a placement.
However, the SPO by meat major Cherkizovo failed, and rail operator RusTransCom postponed its plans for an IPO.
The HeadHunter shares will be sold by Highworld Investments, with 59.99 percent of the shares and ELQ Investors VIII, the investment division of Goldman Sachs Group with 40 percent. The placement is planned for the end of May or beginning of June, the Vedomosti daily reported on April 26, citing unnamed investment banking sources.
HeadHunter is the leader in the online recruitment segment in Russia, with over 50 percent of market share. It also operates in several neighboring Russian-speaking countries. In 2018, the classifieds market grew by 28 percent to 10.3 billion rubles, according to J'Son & Partners estimates cited by Vedomosti.
The start-up was founded in 2000 under the name National Job Club. Starting from 2007, Yuri Milner’s Digital Sky Technologies, which later became Mail.Ru Group, bought stakes in HeadHunter, but Mail.Ru Group sold the company in 2016.
Most recently Russia's largest bank Sberbank acquired 100% in country's third largest online recruitment service Rabota.ru for an undisclosed amount, which could pose competitive threats to HeadHunter.
This article first appeared in bne IntelliNews.