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6 Feb, 2012 11:08

Svyaznoy mobile banking on success

The management of Russian mobile phone retailer Svyaznoy say they intend an IPO in London within two or three years.

In the meantime, they are going to sell part of the business to private investors to raise money for its new banking activity. Svyaznoy started its banking business in 2010 after buying Promtorgbank and re-naming it Svyaznoy Bank. “The bank showed fantastic results this year. Svyaznoy was able to issue more than 1 million credit cards. It is in the top 5 banks in terms of internet usage of credit cards. That is the main project that needs funding”, said Denis Ludkovsky, CEO of Svyaznoy.The company decided to offer a private placement of 20-30% stake and received several bids form both Russian and foreign funds. “We are currently in negotiations with them”, Mr Ludkovsky said. “We believe our chances for telling our story are much better with private rather than with public funds”, he added.He went on saying: “If we do close the deal, there will 2-3 year gap between today and the day of a possible IPO”.“If we don’t reach an agreement in the next couple of months with the private equity funds we are currently speaking to we would probably entertain the possibility of doing IPO in London as soon as we believe it’s an opportunity to do so”, he added.Svyaznoy has shown 24% revenue growth and 16% growth of EBITDA last year, and looks likely to have another record-breaking year, according to Ludkovsky.  Retail sales showed good results with sales of non-mobile products growing 48%.