Cleary and Linklaters act as Russia’s Sberbank poised for London-Moscow SPO

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Linklaters have landed roles on Sberbank’s long-awaited secondary public offering (SPO), which will see the bank raise $5.4bn in London and Moscow.

Russia’s largest bank is aiming to raise $5.4bn, as the Russian Central Bank sells off 7.6 per cent of its stake in the bank, reducing its controlling stake to just over 50 per cent.

The shares will be sold in the form of global depositary receipts and the sale will take place in both London and Moscow.

Cleary is advising Sberbank on the deal and London-based partners David Gottlieb, Simon Ovenden and Moscow-based corporate finance partner Murat Akuyev are leading the team.

Linklaters has been retained to advise the joint global coordinators, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs International, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Troika Dialog. London-based capital markets and securities partner Jason Manketo and Moscow-based capital markets partner Dmitry Dobatkin are the primary partners leading the team.

Background on the deal:

The deal marks a key milestone in the Russian government’s much-lauded privatisation programme, which included plans to sell off both minority and controlling stakes in state-owned companies. Sberbank was due to launch a secondary public offering last year, but was forced to delay its plans due to unfavourable market conditions (2 April 2012). However, a new round of credit easing in the US has reopened the IPO window once again (17 September 2012).

Sberbank has improved its market position and acquired several assets abroad in recent months, including its acquisition of Turkish-based Denizbank from Belgium’s Dexia for $3.9bn (£2.51bn) earlier this year (11 June 2012).

Linklaters’ Moscow partner John Goodwin advised Sberbank on the transaction alongside partner Denis Uvarov and managing associate Lev Loukhton. White & Case acted for Dexia on the deal, with London partner David Crook leading the deal alongside Istanbul-based partners Meltem Akol and Asli Basgoz, Brussels partner Gisele Rosselle and associate Anthony O’Conner in Istanbul.

Cleary and Linklaters are often on opposing sides on Russian capital markets deals and earlier this year Cleary acted for the Russian Federation and Linklaters for the lead arrangers as the Russian government agreed to raise a $7bn (£4.4bn) eurobond issue. (5 April 2012)