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Ozon raises £0.75 billion in U.S. listing

written by Bella Palmer

Sales at Ozon surged this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic as lockdowns forced a switch to online shopping

Russian online retailer Ozon raised nearly £0.75 billion ($1 billion) in its debut New York share listing on Tuesday, pricing the deal above initial guidance as investors scrambled to capitalise on an e-commerce boom in the world’s largest country.

Sales at Ozon, which has more than 11 million active buyers and holds a near 7% share of Russia’s e-commerce market, have boomed this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic as lockdowns forced a switch to online shopping.

Ozon’s £740.99-million ($990-million) initial public offering (IPO) is Russia’s biggest in three years after the £1.12 billion ($1.5 billion) 2017 IPO from En+ Group, which manages tycoon Oleg Deripaska’s aluminium and hydropower businesses.

Ozon, in which Russian conglomerate Sistema and a Baring Vostok group of funds each owned a 45% stake before the listing, priced the offering at £22.45 ($30) per American depository share, above the target range of between £16.84 and £20.58 ($22.50 and $27.50).

The company also increased the number of American depository shares on offer from an initial 30 million, excluding a green shoe option, due to the strong demand, reducing Sistema’s and Baring Vostok’s stakes to 33.1% each.

The ADS are due to start trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market and in Moscow later on Tuesday.

Russian retailers have significantly cut delivery times over the country’s 11 time zones in recent years, helping e-commerce to grow by as 51% in the first six months of this year versus the year earlier period.

The country’s e-commerce market is expected to grow by another 34% to reach around £21 billion ($28 billion) this year, according to Ozon’s IPO prospectus. Privately owned Wildberries leads the Russian e-commerce market with a 15% share.


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