RUSSIA: Wimm-Bill-Dann investors to sell stake
Russian soft drinks producer Wimm-Bill-Dann has said that unnamed shareholders will sell a 10% stake in the company to boost liquidity.
The company, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, said today (27 October) that the shareholders would sell up to 4.4m shares in a public offering. The sale could raise up to US$200m, based on the company's share price yesterday, but Wimm-Bill-Dann said it would not receive any of the proceeds.
Wimm-Bill-Dann's founders, which include chairman David Iakobashvili, control 58% of the company. An ADR program accounts for an additional 33% of the company's equity, of which France's Groupe Danone holds almost 10%.
"I am not selling any shares, but I support my long-time partners in their desire to create additional liquidity of Wimm-Bill-Dann's shares in the Russian market," said Iakobashvili.
The company's CEO, Tony Maher, added: "Ever since I joined the company I have been encouraging the shareholders to address investors' concerns and raise liquidity in the Russian market. I think this is a very positive development for the company and the Russia stock market overall."
Wimm-Bill-Dann operates across Russia, with affiliated companies operating in 26 cities across the country. As of last year, the company held a 20% of Russia's juice market.
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