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Russia's Sistema is aiming to list its children's goods retailer Detskiy Mir next spring, it said on Thursday. Conglomerate Sistema owns listed mobile firm MTS, which is Russia's largest mobile company and contributes more than 60 percent of its sales.
It returned a stake in Bashneft last year to the state following a court decision that the oil firm's privatisation was illegal. It has been planning a public offering of Detskiy Mir shares for several years but the plan was put on hold after Western sanctions put on Russia over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, deterred investors. "We do have an intention and are thinking about a potential IPO (initial public offering) of Detskiy (Mir) in spring of 2016, of course, market permitting," Sistema Chief Executive Mikhail Shamolin told a conference call on Thursday. "The asset is IPO-ready and I think, if markets are open, we can look at a pretty successful IPO," Shamolin said.
He added the company was in the final stages of signing documents with a private investor about a stake sale in the retailer without providing details. Last year, the Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF) agreed to buy a minority stake in Detskiy Mir but the deal has not been completed. Shamolin also said Sistema planned to attract a strategic investor into its microelectronics and IT unit RTI to help it reduce the debt burden.
Earlier on Thursday, Sistema reported third-quarter net profit of 481 million roubles ($7.3 million), down from 11.4 billion roubles a year ago which included Bashneft profits. Earnings were also impacted by a foreign exchange loss of 9.6 billion roubles related to the dollar-denominated debt while operating income before depreciation and amortisation rose 7.1 percent to 52.6 billion roubles. Sales grew 14.3 percent year-on-year to 184.2 billion roubles due mainly to the 2014 acquisition of pulp and paper manufacturer Segezha Group and revenue growth at mobile operator MTS and Detskiy Mir.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

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