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MegaFon moves closer to London IPO-sources

MOSCOW, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Russia's second-largest mobile phone operator MegaFon may start pre-marketing for its London IPO next week, but is yet to make a final decision regarding timing, three sources familiar with the situation said.

The company, in which Russia's richest man Alisher Usmanov took control in April, had in September asked the local markets regulator to allow it to list 123.38 million shares, or 19.9 percent of the total.

Analysts estimate that the initial public offering could raise at least $3 billion, making it the biggest in London since trader Glencore floated in May 2011.

Nordic co-owner TeliaSonera is expected to offer a 10.5 percent stake and MegaFon is expected to sell 9.4 percent of treasury shares.

The IPO will give investors the chance to buy into a Russian telecoms company that is outpacing its peers in a growing home market, but unlike rivals is shielded from tricky overseas operations and complex corporate disputes.

The cut-throat market is dominated by three players, MTS , MegaFon and Vimpelcom , which together control 80 percent of the overall pie.

Usmanov said in an interview with Reuters last week that if the valuation of MegaFon is good, the company will go ahead with its IPO.

MegaFon declined comment.

(Reporting By Olga Popova and Katya Golubkova; Additional reporting and writing by Megan Davies; Editing by David Holmes)

((megan.davies@thomsonreuters.com)(+7 916 391 8262))

Keywords: RUSSIA MEGAFON/IPO