Russian HeadHunter makes first NASDAQ IPO since 2013

Russian HeadHunter makes first NASDAQ IPO since 2013
Job search portal HeadHunter was the first Russian company to IPO on NASDAQ since 2013
By bne IntelliNews May 13, 2019

Leading Russian online job search portal HeadHunter carried out a successful IPO on NASDAQ, on May 9 placing 16.3mn ADRs or 32% of capital at $13.5 per ADR, the upper range of price guidance. The shares of the newcomer jumped by 24% in the first two trading days, bring HeadHunter's valuation from $675mn to $837mn on May 10.

This made the first Russian offering on NASDAQ since 2013, when another two digital majors TCS banking group and Qiwi electronic payment system listed on the exchange. While not a single IPO or SPO was seen in 2018, since the start of this year a number of Russian companies have announced deals including Polyus Gold which raised $390mn from a placement. 

However, the SPO by meat major Cherkizovo has failed, as reported by bne IntelliNews, while and rail operator RusTransCom that announced IPO plans later called off the offering.

HeadHunter, however, enjoyed high demand, with the book for the IPO oversubscribed more than 10-fold, according to Kommersant daily.

The shares of the HeadHunter were sold by the Highworld Investments (59.99% of the shares), ELQ Investors VIII (investment division of Goldman Sachs Group, holds 40%), selling 9.8mn and 6.5mn of ADRs (American Depository Receipts) and raising $132mn and $88mn from the IPO, respectively. 

Kommersant also reported that 9% of the IPO proceeds will be received by Ivan Tavrin's structures. Reportedly Tavrin, the ex-CEO of MegaFon mobile major and ex-board member of internet major, is entitled for 9% of any revenues of Highworld and ELQ since selling the shares in HeadHunter to them in 2016.

HeadHunter is the leader in the online recruitment segment in Russia with over 50% market share as well as in several neighbouring Russian-speaking countries. In 2018 the classifieds market grew by 28% to RUB10.3bn, according to J'Son & Partners estimates cited by Vedomosti daily.

The start-up was founded in 2000 under the name ‘National Job Club’. Starting from 2007, Yuri Milner’s Digital Sky Technologies (which later became Mail.Ru Group) bought stakes in HeadHunter, but Mail.Ru Group sold the company in 2016.