April 12, 2018 / 10:58 AM / 9 days ago

Octo Telematics IPO on hold after top shareholder sanctioned - sources

MILAN/LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) - Italy’s Octo Telematics has put a planned initial public offering on hold after sanctions were imposed on controlling shareholder Renova Holdings and on Renova’s Russian chairman, Viktor Vekselberg, two sources said on Thursday.

The United States imposed major sanctions last week against Vekselberg and other oligarchs close to Russian President Vladimir Putin as punishment for alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and other “malign activity”.

“This is just the way things are, it’s a direct consequence of the U.S. sanctions,” one of the sources told Reuters, confirming an earlier report in Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore.

A second source familiar with the matter said Goldman Sachs , one of the banks advising on the IPO, was no longer helping with the proposed listing as the U.S. sanctions prohibited the Wall Street heavyweight from working with entities with significant links to Russia.

Octo Telematics, which provides black boxes and data analytics services for the auto insurance industry, declined to comment on financial speculation. The company’s chief marketing officer said the company would make a statement in the coming days on how it planned to resolve the situation. (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak and Stephen Jewkes in Milan and Sinead Cruise and Lawrence White in London Editing by Mark Bendeich)

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