36.6 Sells Shares to Pay Down Debt

Pharmacy Chain 36.6, Russia's largest drug seller, announced a stock sale to fund expansion and repay debt as the credit crunch makes it more difficult for the nation's retailers to finance themselves.

The company plans to sell 85.5 million common shares, spokeswoman Irina Lavrova said, with the price determined by the board if shareholders approve the sale on Jan. 9. Proceeds will be used for purposes "including restructuring of the company's debt," Lavrova said. A sale at today's price would raise about 8 billion euros ($290 million).

Shares of 36.6, which has almost 1,200 outlets, fell 9 percent, the most since Nov. 18. Elena Jouronova, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase in Moscow, said 36.6 needs $150 million in "fresh capital" next year to meet debt obligations as its stores continue to lose money.