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Retail

Russia's Magnit Finalises Buyback Of Blocked Shares From Western Investors

By Reuters
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Russia's Magnit Finalises Buyback Of Blocked Shares From Western Investors

Russian retailer Magnit said it had completed a deal to buy back blocked shares from Western investors, the first deal of its kind since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

The offer to buy back shares at a 50% discount, a requirement demanded by the Kremlin, is the first proposal of its kind by a Russian company since sweeping Western sanctions over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and subsequent Russian countermeasures deprived many foreign investors of the ability to trade in Russian securities.

Magnit said it had bought back 16,910,664.8 shares from shareholders, representing about 16.6% of all issued and outstanding shares at an amount of around RUB 37.4 billion (€350 million).

'Approximately 200 orders have been fulfilled – including those from investors from the USA, UK, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Scandinavian countries, Singapore, Japan, Canada, Australia and other jurisdictions,' Magnit said in a statement.

Settlement Procedures

But Magnit, Russia's second-largest retailer with almost 28,000 food and home goods stores across Russia and Uzbekistan, said that settlement procedures with shareholders whose stakes were being cleared through Euroclear were ongoing.

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Magnit said that the approvals it had received grant the right to buy additional shares from non-resident shareholders. The company may consider 'various options' for the purchase of shares from shareholders who didn't participate in the tender offer, including a new tender offer and/or bilateral sale transactions at tender offer purchase price, Magnit said in a statement.

Magnit Alyans

Magnit had previously said its wholly owned subsidiary Magnit Alyans would buy around 21.5% of shares outstanding. That figure was more than double its initial offer, which it ended up tripling to almost 30% after strong demand from Western investors.

JPMorgan, in an investor circular dated July 12, said 'it was actively seeking to recover' shares in Magnit, which underpinned depositary receipts (DRs) JPM had issued to investors before Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

'Magnit's GDR program depositary bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank, also took part, as well as other international investors,' Magnit said, such as hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds and individual investors.

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