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Russia’s largest social network delays IPO following Facebook jitters

The circus around Facebook’s juddery IPO has rolled into Moscow. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Russia’s largest social network Vkontakte has postponed its IPO as a result of Facebook’s less-than-brilliant market debut.

The social network’s founder and CEO Pavel Durov reportedly tweeted “The Facebook IPO damaged many private investors’ trust in social networks, and the [VKontakte] IPO has been postponed indefinitely”.

Durov is thought to own about 12% of the 119-million strong social network. Interestingly, one of the company’s larger investors Mail.ru (formerly Digital Sky Technologies) also has a five percent stake in Facebook. That adds the possibility of a “once bitten, twice shy” element to the decision.

The investment company’s own 2010 IPO saw it raise over US$1-billion, while its 56.3-million Facebook shares worth US$2.14-billion. Given the spectacular drop in Facebook’s share price, it’s unlikely that it would be willing to risk having another go on the stock market just yet.

That said, Russian newspaper Moscow Times says the decision was largely driven by Purov with the backing of Mail.ru.