Ukraine poultry farm wants to go public

05-05-2006 | |

A Ukrainian chicken farm is pushing ahead with an initial public offering (IPO) of stock, in what is shaping up as a test of how seriously investors take the threat of a global bird-flu pandemic.

Financial markets overall haven’t paid much attention to the prospect of a flu outbreak, although stocks in some other poultry companies have been hurt in the past year.

Myronivsky Hliboproduct, known as MHP, has hired investment banks Morgan Stanly and Renaissance Capital to help raise about $150 million through an IPO in Kiev, and perhaps London, that could value the whole company at more than $1 billion.

The company would be launching shares as cases of the H5N1 avian-flu virus continue to emerge.

MHP, which owns three large chicken farms in the Ukraine with capacity of 10 million chickens, hasn’t been affected by bird flu and hasn’t lost customers since the threat emerged. MHP, which sells chicken under the brand Nasha Ryaba, emerged in 1995 from the wreckage of post-Soviet Ukrainian chicken production.

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