CC, Freshfields and White & Case join fray on $1.7bn Megafon IPO

Clifford Chance (CC), Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and White & Case are among a raft of firms to have advised on Russia telecoms firm Megafon’s $1.7bn (£1.1bn) initial public offering (IPO) in London and Moscow.

The IPO, which placed yesterday (28 November), followed Megafon’s sale of a 15% stake, valuing the company at $11.1bn (£7bn). Megafon is majority controlled by AF Telecom – the holding company of Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov.

CC advised depository bank BNY Mellon, fielding a team led by London capital markets partner Bruce Kahl, while Freshfields advised underwriters Morgan Stanley and Sberbank CIB, with a team led by London capital markets partner Peter Allen, US capital markets partner Don Guiney and Moscow managing partner Mikhail Loktionov.

The bank syndicate initially included Goldman Sachs, until the bank pulled out in early October due to corporate governance concerns.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld also landed a role on the deal, with Moscow capital markets partner Varun Gupta and City corporate partner Artem Faekov advising AF Telecom.

White & Case acted for Megafon shareholder TeliaSonera, which reduced its stake in the listing, with a team led by London corporate partner Allan Taylor and Moscow capital markets partner Darina Lozovsky.

In September, Legal Week first reported Cleary was advising MegaFon, Russia’s second largest mobile phone operator. The firm, which has concentrated on building a strong company-side capital markets practice in recent years, was led by capital markets partners Raj Panasar in London and Yulia Solomakhina in Moscow.