French logistics company Gefco hires banks to start IPO process

MOSCOW/PARIS (Reuters) - Logistics company Gefco IPO-GEFC.PA, which is controlled by Russian Railways (RZhD), has hired several leading investment banks to start the process for its possible stock market flotation, sources told Reuters.

The banks in the process are Societe Generale, JP Morgan, Citigroup, UBS and Credit Suisse.

A spokesman for Gefco declined to comment on the matter, while Russian Railways also declined comment. SocGen and JP Morgan had no immediate comment.

One source told Reuters that bankers had already started meeting investors about Gefco’s IPO (initial public offering).

“The deal is on the market,” said the banking source.

Gefco said in a Dec. 21 statement it planned to list shares on the Euronext Paris market.

It said Russian Railways would remain the company’s controlling shareholder, but that it was considering reducing its stake to below 50 percent of the company’s share capital at the IPO.

France's PSA Group PEUP.PA, which holds 24.96 percent of Gefco, is considering reducing its stake to below 10 percent, with the remaining holding subject to a two-year lock-up period.

The completion of the offering would still be subject to market conditions and regulatory approvals, Gefco said back in December, adding it believed a flotation would increase its position in the automotive and broader logistics sectors.

Gefco, whose main business is servicing the car industry, is a former subsidiary of France’s PSA Group. The French carmaker sold 75 percent of the company to Russian Railways in 2012 for 800 million euros ($915 million).

Last year, Russian Railways said it aimed to cut its stake in Gefco to 40 percent by 2020 but also planned to retain control of the company.

Reporting by Olga Popova, Oksana Kobzeva and Gleb Stolyarov in Moscow; Additional reporting by Inti Landauro and Arno Schuetze; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Louise Heavens