Rosneft’s Russian IPO highlights dangers

The controversy surrounding last Friday’s (7 July) pricing of Russian state-controlled oil company Rosneft has given firms a reason to pause before acting on Russian AIM listings. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton was advising Rosneft on its London Stock Exchange listing, which is due on Wednesday (19 July). Linklaters had the more secure task of advising the underwriters, although they too have come under fire from US senators concerned that they could flaunt US anti-money laundering laws. The IPO was expected to raise around $10bn (£5.44bn), but questions remain over Rosneft’s acquisition of its main assets from Yukos, with the threat of shareholder litigation remaining. One suit, led by Covington & Burling, launched arbitration action in Spain last week. The question remains as to whether this will put firms off Russian IPOS? With the lucrative mandates to be had, one suspects not.