The largest Russian free web mail provider and portal Mail.ru is expected to do an initial public offering (IPO) of shares in London in 2008 that would value the company at $2 billion, reported business daily Kommersant today. It is said that the company is discussing IPO terms with the banks Citibank, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse.
According to TNS Gallup Media, Mail.ru had the largest daily audience of 5.85 million people in Russia in March 2008. Its monthly audience reached 35.3 million last September. Mail.ru generated some $40 million revenues in 2007, of which $30 million came from display advertising, the newspaper assumed.
The company operates the largest free web mail service in Russia as well as blog, photo, video, dating, and other online portal services. The Mail.ru service was first released ten years ago.
The South Africa-headquartered Internet group Naspers first bought-out 30% of Mail.ru for $165 million from private equity investors in January 2007 and then acquired additional 2.6% for $26 million in September 2007, valuing Mail.ru at $1 billion.