The Russian company for the development of solutions in the field of cybersecurity PJSC “Group Positive” (“Positive Technologies”) entered the Moscow Exchange (MOEX). This is the first Russian information security company to be presented on the public market.
Ordinary shares of “Group Positive” were included in the second-level quotation list on December 16, 2021. Official trading in securities under the POSI trading code will begin on December 17, 2021. The company’s shares will be included in the innovation and investment market (IIM) sector of the Moscow Exchange.
The Positive Group has entered into market-making agreements with three Russian brokers, which will support buy and sell orders for trading in Russian rubles. The shares of the Positive Group were admitted to public circulation only on the Moscow Exchange.
“Today, a significant event took place not only for our company but also for the entire domestic information security industry. Group Positive became the first Russian cybersecurity company to gain public status and whose shares are traded on the stock exchange. Today’s success of the company is determined by the high reputation of the group’s products on the market, the introduction of innovative solutions and services in the field of preventing cyber threats, and the many years of efforts of our entire large team,” said Yuri Maksimov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of PJSC Group Positive.
“In our new public status, we count on attracting and motivating talented people in the industry, creating a close-knit community of like-minded co-owners who understand our business and highly appreciate its prospects. We also want to express our gratitude to the Moscow Exchange for supporting our aspirations and initiatives,” added Yuri Maksimov.
Financial analysts highly appreciate the investment attractiveness of the Positive Group. Experts of the Moscow Partners company assess the company’s business taking into account discounts of $1.85 billion. “For the assessment, we used market multiples – P / S, EV / EBITDA, P / E. We considered it necessary to apply several discounts, which take into account the risks of sanctions, liquidity, as well as country risk. As a result, we got that according to the results of comparative analysis, the business of “Positive Technologies” today can be estimated at $1.85 billion, “the analytical report says.
Aleksandr Danilov, an analyst at the Veles investment company, notes that the Positive Group is a highly profitable and fast-growing Russian cybersecurity company with ample development opportunities. In 2025, the company expects to increase its revenue 5 times and EBITDA 8 times relative to 2020, simultaneously paying dividends and making a buyback. If the ambitious 2025 strategy is successfully implemented, the Positive Group may well justify the high score on multiples relative to the domestic market.
“According to our calculations, the fair market value of the company is $ 1 billion, which is equivalent to 1,100 rubles per common share. Rostelecom also sees a high potential for the cybersecurity market, expecting rapid growth of its segment by 2025. At the same time, we note that the high assessment of the “Positive Group” is an advance due to the expected rapid growth of indicators, which must be ensured over a rather long horizon of 2022–2025. At the same time, the company is limited to the domestic market, and US sanctions make it difficult to attract foreign investors and make a listing on foreign exchanges impossible,” explains Alexander Danilov.
In turn, financial experts of AK Bars Finance believe that during the year, the capitalization of Positive Technologies may exceed 105 billion rubles. This will be facilitated by the accelerated transition of many companies to remote work, the trend towards digitalization, and the need to transfer all subjects of the key information infrastructure to domestic software. These factors will ensure a dynamic growth in demand for the issuer’s products and, accordingly, may lead to an increase in its capitalization.
It is assumed that by the start of trading 10.89% of the shares owned by the current and former employees of the group, as well as its partners, will be in free circulation. After the start of organized trading, new shareholders will be able to buy and sell their shares without restrictions.
According to Denis Baranov, General Director of the Positive Group, the acquisition of public status corresponds to a “noticeable increase in the scale” of the group’s business and “an impressive increase in financial results.”
“We intend to regularly report to shareholders and the market by publishing financial statements prepared by IFRS. The company’s board of directors includes independent directors, a dividend policy has been approved, according to which shareholders will be able to regularly receive returns from our growing business in the future,” he said.
It is noted that Positive Technologies is growing faster than the market: in 2020, its revenue increased by 60%, amounting to 5.5 billion rubles. At the end of 2021, revenue is expected to grow by 20-40% compared to the same indicator last year.
Total revenue growth in the third quarter of this year amounted to 30% and “is a positive evidence of the outstripping growth” of the group’s business in comparison with the market.
The Group successfully continues to realize its potential for growth in sales of products and solutions by scaling information security projects in key customers and actively working with new customers and partners.
The company is one of the leading Russian experts in the field of information security and cyber threat prevention and has been operating in the market for 20 years. The group develops, markets, and supports a wide range of innovative IT security software products and services.
In November, experts interviewed by Izvestia assessed the prospects for Positive Technologies to enter the public market. They noted that the group could become an interesting case for the high-tech segment, which plays a special role as the main engine of investment portfolio returns during periods of favorable pricing conditions. ” The conjuncture is favorable for domestic players now, experts said.