Cleary Gottlieb handed role on Russia’s Polymetal LSE debut

The rush by Russian companies to list in London is benefiting US firms.

The latest Russian precious metals company stating its intention to list, Polymetal, has gifted roles to Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

Polymetal, which is owned by Russia’s eighth-richest man and colourful politician Suleiman Kerimov, intends to raise $500m (£258.4m) on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) with a London listing by March.

The proceeds will be used to reduce the company’s $400m (£203.66m) debt and for further company developments, including potential acquisitions.

The banks involved are Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and UBS, advised by a Cleary team led by corporate finance partner Raj Panasar. Moscow-based partner Russell Pollack and senior attorney Murat Akuyev are also involved.

At Skadden London-based corporate partner Pranav Trivedi is advising Polymetal, the fifth-largest silver producer in the world, which posted a revenue figure of $223.5m (£115.5m) for the first nine months of 2006.

The listing is expected to place 30 per cent of Polymetal’s share capital on the LSE, while Kerimov’s stake will fall to 70 per cent when the IPO is complete.

Both Cleary and Skadden have burgeoning Russia practices. Cleary advised on Rosneft’s 2006 IPO, while Skadden is the firm of choice for Roman Abramovich.

A source close to the Polymetal listing said US firms “have a robustness of disclosure in difficult markets that is a real plus to the American banks”.