June 28, 2019 / 3:38 PM / 4 months ago

Russian steel tycoon Lisin sells 2.6% stake in NLMK

MOSCOW, June 28 (Reuters) - Vladimir Lisin, who is considered to be Russia’s second richest businessman, sold an approximate 2.6% stake in Russian steel producer NLMK, where he is the controlling shareholder, the company said in a statement on Friday.

The sale, which raised around $400 million according to a statement from the bookrunner Goldman Sachs, is the fourth in a string of share placements in the Russian metals and mining sector in recent months.

Businessman Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea football club, together with his partners sold a 3.5% stake in Russian steel producer Evraz in two sales in March and June this year, raising a total 309 million pounds ($393 million).

Abramovich and his partners also trimmed their stake in Russian nickel and palladium producer Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) in March by 1.7%.

“NLMK continues the ongoing trend of placements that, in our view, are driven by the worsening outlook for China’s economic growth,” analysts at Aton brokerage wrote in a note.

The stake in NLMK was sold by Lisin’s Cyprus-based investment vehicle Fletcher Group Holdings Ltd., whose holding will now be 81%. The lock-up period after the share sale will be 90 days.

“The increase in the free float is expected to lead to increased liquidity in the company’s shares,” NLMK said in a statement.

Goldman Sachs said the 158 million shares (15.8 million depositary receipts) were traded at $25.32 per depositary receipt.

This constitutes a 6.2% discount on the price of the shares at the market close on Thursday on the London Stock Exchange .

On Friday, following the placement, shares in NLMK - Russia’s largest steelmaker - were down 5.81% on the day on the Moscow exchange and down 5.85% in London, at 1433 GMT.

However, Aton brokerage analysts said the shares had “a good chance of a quick rebound, thanks to better liquidity and potentially better MSCI positioning.”

A representative for Lisin declined to comment. ($1 = 0.7859 pounds) (Reporting by Anastasia Lyrchikova and Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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