Completing its initial public ‪offering on the NASDAQ last Friday, Russian payment operator Qiwi raised $212 million by selling 12.5 million class B shares at $17 each. Initially, Qiwi had expected to sell 12 million shares at a price between $16 and $18 apiece.‬

All the shares were offered by selling stockholders. Qiwi is valued at about $888 million at the listing price.

Overall, the company owns 52 million shares, so the placement of 12 million Class B shares accounted for the free-float of 23 percent in Qiwi’s authorized capital and 2.9 percent of the voting interest.

Antana International Corporation (controlled by Qiwi board chairman Andrei Romanenko and his father Nikolai Romanenko) and Mail.ru Group are the primary sellers of Qiwi’s equity. The former has sold 2.8 million of shares for $47.6 million, and the latter has put up 3.05 million shares worth $51 million, CNews.ru reported yesterday.

With 24.5 percent of shares in the company, Qiwi PLC CEO Sergey Solonin also serves as its biggest co-owner. He did not intend to sell his part of the equity, as his voting interest has reached 32.4 percent.

A Russian company going global

As reported earlier by East-West Digital News, Qiwi is a leading provider of cash and online payment services in Russia and Kazakhstan. The company also operates in 20 other countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. The company was established in late 2007 following the merger of OSMP, established three years earlier, and E-port Payment Systems. A majority stake is owned by Qiwi’s management, while the Mail.ru Group and Japan’s Mitsui have minority stakes.

Qiwi enables more than 40,000 merchants to accept over 39 billion rubles (approximately $1.3 billion) cash and electronic payments monthly from over 65 million consumers using its network at least once a month.

The operator dominates the Russian cash payment terminals market with more than 120,000 payment processing machines across the country. Russians use these nearly ubiquitous kiosks to pay for virtually everything from mobile phone bills to utilities, taxes, and fines.

Over the last few years, the company has gone online, providing 11 million users with electronic wallets and offering new products in partnership with VISA.

Qiwi’s financial results, 2010-2012 (in million USD)

Source: IPO prospectus

According to its IPO prospectus, Qiwi now plans to “transition to a multi-bank open model in Russia and internationally.” This “global online and mobile payment processing and money transfer system” will enable any Visa member bank to offer a Visa Qiwi Wallet account to its customers.

The Russian company also plans to strengthen its existing network by adding new services and enrolling new merchants; to introduce “new, value added, high-margin products and services to address evolving customer demands;” and to enter into new geographies by “investing directly, franchising [its] operations, or licensing [its] technology.”

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