Support The Moscow Times! to Raise $50M

Russian online airfare- and hotel-booking site intends to raise up to $50 million from investment funds at the end of 2012, ahead of a possible initial public offering in 2014, its founder and main shareholder said.

Kirill Podolsky, a 60 percent shareholder, said Wednesday that the firm would offer new shares, seeking to attract one or two funds.

“It may be a structured transaction, such as a private placement … (backed by) a loan,” Podolsky said, adding that an IPO in London or New York was possible no earlier than early 2014.

The Lausanne, Switzerland-based firm, created in 2008, sold a 40 percent stake in 2010 to Tiger Global Management, which is also an investor in Yandex, Russia’s top search engine.

Global investors have been showing a growing appetite for Russian Internet firms as they seek to tap into rising consumer spending and fast-growing use of broadband in Russia, now Europe’s biggest Internet market.

Russian online retailer KupiVIP said last month that it wanted to float shares on the New York Stock Exchange within two years, in a move that could raise more than $120 million.

Yandex and rival Internet group Mail.Ru raised nearly $2.5 billion between them in oversubscribed IPOs in New York and London in 2010 and 2011.

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