initial public offerings

E-scooter firm Whoosh delivers Russia’s only IPO of 2022

Reuters
E-scooter firm Whoosh delivers Russia’s only IPO of 2022

INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING. Participants, including Whoosh CEO Dmitry Chuyko, attend the company's IPO listing ceremony at the Moscow Exchange in the city of Moscow, Russia, December 14, 2022.

Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

Whoosh's debut reflects the small volumes and dependency on retail investors which are likely to characterize listings in a Russian stock market devoid of Western capital

MOSCOW, Russia – Whoosh staged Russia’s only initial public offering (IPO) of the year on Wednesday, December 14, though the e-scooter firm raised less than originally hoped in a market deprived of Western investors since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in February.

The company said it raised 2.1 billion roubles ($33.2 million), less than half of its initial goal of $80 million.

Shares were placed at 185 roubles each, the lower end of the price range, giving Whoosh a market capitalization of 20.6 billion roubles ($326 million), the firm said in a statement.

When trading began at 1200 GMT, the shares were quoted at 186.90 roubles. By 1237 GMT they had eased to 183.64.

The company said existing shareholders had provided shares worth 200 million roubles for possible stabilization in the secondary market, taking the IPO’s total volume to 2.3 billion roubles. The free float will exceed 10%, it said.

While breathing life into a moribund market, Whoosh’s debut also reflects the small volumes and dependency on retail investors which are likely to characterize listings in a Russian stock market devoid of Western capital.

Whoosh said leading Russian investment funds accounted for more than half of the total IPO volume.

“In addition to institutional investors, more than 20,000 private investors became our shareholders following the IPO, which underlines the level of trust in our company and its ambitious goals,” chief executive officer Dmitry Chuyko said.

Whoosh, whose yellow and orange scooters are a common sight around Moscow until snowfall forces a winter break, plans to use the funds to increase the size of its fleet and expand into new regions.

As of September 30, it operated 82,000 scooters in 40 cities across Russia and ex-Soviet states, with 11.2 million registered users.

Russian companies harbored strong IPO hopes after a bumper year in 2021, which saw $3.7 billion raised and investment banks earn more than $100 million in fees, but the conflict in Ukraine has largely put paid to those ambitions. – Rappler.com

$1 = 63.2000 roubles

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