Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ukraine Property Firm to List on London Stock Exchange

KIEV, Ukraine -- One of the Ukraine’s largest property developers, XXI Century, is set to float on the London Stock Exchange by the end of this year, in a move that will value the company at as much as £300m (E440m, $530m).


The company, the second ever Ukrainian firm to seek a London listing, has hired Dutch bank ING to prepare it for the float, The Business has learnt. XXI Century is expected to be the first in a series of Ukrainian entrepreneurial firms the bank will bring to market over the next year.

XXI Century, founded by Ukrainian-born Georgian Lev Partskhaladze, has seen the value of its portfolio expand eightfold in five years, and floating it on the London exchange will allow it to raise its international profile.

It develops shopping centres, high-end apartment blocks, business centres, and fast food restaurants, predominantly in Ukraine’s capital Kiev.

“They’ve been looking at raising capital on western financial markets for a while,” said a Kiev-based corporate financier.

“It’s like Ukrproduct. They’re just a small dairy company, but now they are in London, they are serious. That’s probably worth the hundred thousand dollars it cost,” added the financier.

Ukrproduct, which makes processed cheese and butter, raised £6m on London’s Aim growth market in February, drawing in 18 investment funds and 33 private investors.

ING has been targeting Ukrainian businesses built from scratch by their owners. It argues that the country’s industrial conglomerates, which would generate far larger fees, pose too many problems, because of the complicated way many of them gained the assets from the state.

Source: The Business Online

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