According to Vedomosti, the messenger is considering for an IPO, including the Asian platform

Photo: Tiffany Hagler-Geard / Bloomberg
The Telegram messenger has begun preparations for an IPO, which may take place in 2023, the Vedomosti newspaper reports, citing a source close to the company. This information was confirmed by two other interlocutors of the newspaper, one of whom is close to the auditor preparing Telegram for placement, the other to the investment bank, familiar with the plans of the messenger.

According to the interlocutors, the messenger began pre-IPO diagnostics and is now choosing the region and exchanges for placement. At the same time, in addition to the IPO, the messenger is considering two more options: direct listing and using a SPAC company to enter the stock exchange, sources indicated.

According to the newspaper, during the initial placement Telegram can be estimated at $ 30-50 billion. The consultants propose to link the company's valuation to the monthly number of active Telegram users and proceed from the estimate of one active user at $ 50, said a source close to the messenger.

Telegram may choose to place one of the Asian stock exchanges, the newspaper said. A source close to the messenger explained this by the fact that today more than 40% of Telegram users are in Asia, and in two years this figure could grow to 50%. The interlocutor of Vedomosti, close to the auditor, claims that at this stage Telegram is choosing between the New York NASDAQ and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The lower estimate of the free-float messenger is 10%, while the maximum that can be offered to investors is a blocking stake, since the founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov, “is sensitive to control over the platform,” says the source of the newspaper.

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In March, Telegram Group placed five-year convertible dollar bonds at 7% per annum. The placement was held at par, and the minimum lot for participation was $ 500,000. If Telegram carries out an IPO within five years, bond holders will be able to convert them into shares with a 10% discount to the offering price. More than $ 1 billion was raised from the sale of bonds.

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After raising funds, Durov said that this would allow Telegram to continue its global growth while maintaining its independence. The businessman noted that issuing bonds is very different from selling shares, in which investors receive voting rights and seats on the board of directors. “The bond issue allowed Telegram to raise funds without sacrificing its independent nature,” Durov said, pointing out that the messenger's investors would not be able to influence the company's policies.