MOSCOW, March 27 Russian railcar leasing company Brunswick Rail is raising up to $150 million by issuing preference shares to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), it said, signalling some appetite for financing despite the Crimea crisis.
The company said on Thursday the preference shares were a "pre-IPO equity instrument" to give Brunswick Rail an alternative source of equity capital from a new strategic investor, in a deal "tailor-made" for its funding requirements.
A source close to the company said Brunswick Rail still saw an IPO as an option for the medium term.
Brunswick Rail, which leases its fleet of more than 24,500 railcars to corporate clients, has been considering going public for the last couple of years, sources have said.
But several Russian companies have put IPO plans on ice after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine and the United States and European Union imposed sanctions on Russian individuals, plunging East-West relations to a post-Cold War low.
"The completion of this deal shows that, despite current market sentiment, there is still appetite to finance high quality corporate stories where there are clear growth opportunities," said CEO Alex Genin in a statement.
The company needs $400 million to $500 million to fund its growth, a source close to the company said.
Of this, $150 million is being raised via Thursday's transaction, up to $300 million will likely be from a rouble bond - which includes $100 million refinancing - and up to $100 million will come from free cash flow.
The EBRD will be able to allocate $30 million of the preference shares to international investors, Brunswick Rail said.
In 2012 the company raised $600 million in a five-year Eurobond, with proceeds to be used to fund growth. [ID nL1N0C44JI]
Goldman Sachs advised Brunswick Rail on the capital raising. (Reporting by Megan Davies, Editing by Elizabeth Piper)