ChelPipe Considers IPO in Moscow This Year: Ceo

Russian steel pipe producer Chelpipe is focusing on increasing exports and investing in high-value added projects amid a competitive domestic market, its chief executive officer said in an interview with Reuters.

The company, controlled by businessman Andrei Komarov, has hired banks to organize a potential share offering n Moscow this year, sources told the news agency in February.

Chelpipe CEO Boris Kovalenkov told Reuters the company is looking at all possible options for financing its strategy, including tapping debt markets and selling shares.

“If market conditions will be advantageous, if it would be effective for the financing of our strategic plans, then we would consider the possibility of entering equity markets, among other options,” Kovalenkov told Reuters.

Chelpipe, like many other Russian companies, has a small free float – at 2.8% – a “technical listing” that is too small for the company to be considered a fully-fledged member of the stock exchange.

The company, which supplies 31% of the Russian market for large-diameter pipes and 18% of pipes for the local oil and gas industry, is interested in participating in pipe-laying projects globally, including in the Middle East and Africa, Kovalenkov said.

Chelpipe aims to have exports make up a quarter of its revenues by 2024, compared to 21% in 2018, Kovalenkov said. The company has not disclosed the data for 2019.

The company does not plan to expand its production capacity, saying such investments would put pressure on the domestic market, Kovalenkov said.