* This content was produced in Russia where the law
coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine
MOSCOW, Sept 16 (Reuters) - E-scooter company Whoosh is
planning to raise about $170 million by listing shares on the
Moscow Exchange this year in the first Russian initial public
offering (IPO) since the conflict in Ukraine began, two sources
close to the deal told Reuters.
At least 10 companies from commodities to the financial and
retail sectors were looking to go public in 2022, advisers and
bankers said late last year, but Russia sending tens of
thousands of troops into Ukraine in February has largely
thwarted those plans.
Whoosh is hoping to raise about 10 billion roubles ($167
million), the sources said, at a valuation of about 40 billion
roubles. They declined to be named because the information was
not yet public. Forbes Russia first reported Whoosh's intention
to list earlier this week.
Whoosh said it was considering various options but did not
comment further on the matter.
"Like any successful company, Whoosh is considering various
strategic options for development, including opportunities on
capital markets, however it is premature to speak about any
concrete plans," a spokesperson for the company said.
Whoosh has hired SberCIB, the investment arm of dominant
lender Sberbank, as a bank on the deal, one of the
Sberbank did not immediately respond to a request for
The deal should benefit from the company's growth,
profitability, a recognised consumer brand that can attract
retail investors, and the relatively small size of the offering,
one of the sources said.
"All the building blocks are there to try and open the
market with this particular transaction," the source said.
Whoosh operates in almost 40 locations across Russia and its
electric scooters are a common sight around Moscow.
The city's transport department on Monday said 2 million
people actively use scooters in Moscow and the number of trips
made each year is expected to jump to 20 million in 2022 from
8.6 million last year.
The company's founders own about a three-quarters equity
stake, with Ultimate Capital holding 12.9% and VIM Investments
Whoosh's revenue jumped 63% in the first half of this year
to 3.2 billion roubles, compared with the same period of 2021.
For all of 2021, revenue was almost five times higher than the
Net profit fell in the first half of 2022 to 385 million
roubles, while the number of trips jumped 84% to 20.3 million.
($1 = 59.8500 roubles)
(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Edmund Klamann)