Debevoise to handle Novolipetsk flotation

Debevoise & Plimpton has landed an instruction from Russian steel manufacturer Novolipetsk, which is set to list on the London Stock Exchange with a value of £6bn – the biggest UK flotation for five years.

Debevoise has a long-standing relationship with the company, acting as its principal adviser on all deals in Russia and internationally since 1996.

It is understood the firm secured the role after its Moscow branch initiated the relationship with Novolipetsk.

Linklaters is acting for the underwriters UBS and Merrill Lynch, reaffirming its position as one of the market leaders for work on IPOs. As first reported in The Lawyer (21 November), the magic circle firm is also advising soft drinks company Britvic on its £800m London listing.

UBS and Merrill Lynch both have operations in Moscow, where Novolipetsk has a primary listing on the Russian stock exchange.

Novolipetsk is the world’s most profitable steel-making company, recording profit margins of 47 per cent in the first half of this year.

One senior Moscow partner told The Lawyer: “The relationship between Novolipetsk and Debevoise has been in place for almost 10 years. It’s a relationship that has continued and Debevoise acts for the company both inside Russia and out on all transactions.”

Debevoise and Linklaters both declined to comment.