Noventiq announced it intends to list on the Nasdaq via a SPAC acquisition at $800 million enterprise value. The information technology company was founded in Moscow in 1993 but shed its Russian roots following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Originally known as Softline, Noventiq is a London-based digital transformation and cybersecurity firm currently traded on the London Stock Exchange. The company global repository receipts faced “very limited trading volume” on the LSE, however, so the company intends to delist in favor of the Nasdaq.
This switch is “expected to provide Noventiq with improved access to new sources of capital, accelerate M&A opportunities, and enhance its reach and capabilities in fast-growing in-house technology development in cyber security, generative-AI, and other high-margin products and tools,” according to the company’s press release.
The move is the latest in a series of high-profile shifts for the company in recent years. The company relocated its headquarters from Moscow to London in October 2020 and listed on the LSE in 2021. In the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the company both rebranded from Softline to Noventiq and sold its business operations in Russia to its founder, Igor Borovikov.
While Noventiq followed through on its promise to divest from Russia, other companies found such divestitures difficult to achieve. In the wake of the invasion, droves organizations announced their intention to exit Russia. Indeed, many followed through: popular companies like YouTube (previously used by 68% Russian adults) and Facebook (37%) remain blocked in the country.
According to the Kyiv School of Economics, however, of the 3,141 foreign companies it monitors, “only 211 companies have exited — fewer than 7 percent — while 468 have announced plans to leave. But 1,228 are staying, and more than 1,200, despite pausing or scaling back, are still doing business or keeping their options open, according to the project director.”
Companies have found it difficult to leave their Russian operations, “with the losses of an exit perhaps outweighing possible damage to their brands of staying in the country as it wages a brutal war against Ukraine. Some businesses even grabbed a bigger market share as their competitors departed.”
Although many Western companies remain operating to some degree, Western governments’ sanctions have damaged the Russian economy. According to the World Bank, the IMF and OECD, Russia’s gross domestic product shrank by an estimated 2.1%. Estimates for 2023 vary, with the World Bank estimating a .2% decline, the IMF a .7% increase, and the OECD a 2.5% decline.
According to Matterhorn’s comprehensive M&A database, which harnesses AI to track current and historical deals, Noventiq is advised by Allen & Overy LLP, while the SPAC, Corner Growth Acquisition Corp., is advised by Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt LLC.