Latham wins £653m Comstar IPO in second-largest Russian float to date

Latham & Watkins

has scooped an instruction for Comstar United Telesystems on its proposed $1.17bn (£653m) IPO, continuing its dominance of the Russian IPO market.

Linklaters has picked up instructions from the underwriters, which include Deutsche Bank UFG, Goldman Sachs and Renaissance Capital, in what is tipped to be the second-largest float of a Russian company to date.

Latham Moscow managing partner Anya Goldin said issuers had instructed the firm “on almost all Russian company-issued IPOs for the New York or London Stock Exchanges”.

Latham advised Comstar parent company Sistema on its $1.56bn (£871.3m) float in 2005, in which Linklaters also advised the underwriters. The firm also advised Russia’s largest independent gas company Novatek on its listing.

Comstar is reputed to be Russia’s largest private fixed-line telecommunications company.

Goldin said: “The market is very hot and a lot of companies are preparing. London is generally a lot faster and smoother from an issuer’s point of view, with fewer hurdles, therefore less expensive.”

Linklaters Moscow finance partner Dmitry Dobatkin and London-based partner Steve Thierbach are leading advice for the underwriters.

Dobatkin said the “boom” in Russian IPOs showed no signs of abating.

“It is actually growing in terms of the sorts of issuers we are seeing. It’s not just the blue-chips anymore. We’re seeing it across all sectors, not just oil and gas,” he added.