Russian credit card float to aid Goldman coffers

GOLDMAN Sachs is set to net a multi-million dollar windfall after its stake in Russian credit card firm TCS Group was priced at the upper end of the range for a forthcoming float in London.

TCS, which offers credit cards to people living in rural Russia, is offering global depository receipts (GDRs) at $14 to $17.50 in a bid to raise $870m (£544m), valuing the company at between $2.6bn and $3.2bn.

Goldman, which owns a 12 per cent stake in TCS through its subsidiary ELQ Investors, is selling part of its stake alongside fellow minority investors Baring Vostok, Vostok Nafta, Horizon Capital and Altruco Trustees. All will remain investors after the sale.

Founder and majority shareholder Oleg Tinkov, a Russian entrepreneur who made his fortune brewing upmarket craft beer in St Petersburg, will also reduce his holdings from 61 per cent to about 50 per cent.

An extra 15 per cent of the offering will be made available as an over-allotment option.

The sale would make it the biggest offering of GDRs by a Russian company this year.

An investor roadshow hosted by UK-born chief executive Oliver Hughes, a former manager at Visa, kicked off yesterday and continues all week.

The firm originally intended to raise $750m but upped this yesterday to $870m after hints of strong demand from potential investors.

The company, which mirrors the business model pioneered by US credit card firm Capital One, says almost 90 per cent of its customers are outside of Russia’s main metropolitan centres, Moscow and St Petersburg.

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