Hedge Funds

RUSAL IPO attracts Rothschild and Paulson

A workers gestures to a crane driver placing a 30 tons aluminium ingot on a stack in the RUSAL aluminium smelter in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk November 28, 3008. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Russia’s UC RUSAL, the world’s biggest aluminium maker, has attracted a who’s who list of investors prior to its planned IPO, including the scion of the Rothschild family, one of the richest men in Southeast Asia, and the U.S. hedge fund that made billions last year.

The IPO is seen as major step for RUSAL, which is trying to raise cash amid massive debt restructuring, and for Hong Kong, a financial centre that is trying to attract more publicly traded companies from beyond Asia.

According to two sources involved in the IPO, RUSAL’s roughly $2 billion Hong Kong IPO, planned for January, had attracted four cornerstone investors -- investors who buy shares before a public listing, promising to hold them until a later date.

The sources said the investors included: Nathaniel Rothschild’s private investment company; Robert Kuok Hock Nien, the Malaysian-Chinese businessman said to be worth around $10 billion; Paulson & Co., the New York hedge fund run by billionaire John Paulson; and Russian state-owned bank Vnesheconombank.

The sources said the official list of cornerstone investors would not be final until the prospectus became public later this week.

BlackRock BLK.N is also said to be among the cornerstone investors, Reuters reported last week. VEB has pledged to buy nearly one third of the 10 percent of the shares on offer.

RUSAL plans to start pre-marketing the IPO on January 5, with a road show scheduled to start on January 11 and pricing on January 21.

Additional reporting by Michael Flaherty; Editing by Chris Lewis