Ex-energy Minister Igor Yusufov
The pledge for the sake of “Bashneft”
The government decided to postpone the privatization of “Bashneft”, scheduled for the autumn, and the first to sell a stake in Rosneft, said on Wednesday, August 17, the first Vice-Premier Igor Shuvalov. But, as it became known to RBC, the applicants continue to prepare for the sale of the Bashkir companies and the delay could be for them.
According to the Ministry, applications for participation in the privatization of “Bashneft” has filed nine companies, including Rosneft and LUKOIL. This number was also included in Fund Energy, controlled by former energy Minister Igor Yusufov. “Fund Energy” is considering several opportunities to participate in the company — the buyer of the stake [Bashneft]: 25% plus one share, 34 or 50%,” — said in a letter to the Executive Director of the Foundation Dmitry Tambovskogo sent on 25 July, the government agent “VTB Capital” (RBC has a copy). The authenticity of the letter confirmed RBC a source familiar with its contents. Official representatives of “Energy” and “VTB the Capital” have refused any comments.
The Fund Energy plans to participate in privatization of “Bashneft” in consortium with foreign (including Chinese and Arab funds), and Russian companies, says close to this consortium source. According to him, depending on the participation of other partners the share of “Energy” in the consortium can range from 25 to 50%. But will be separately stipulated conditions on the rights of the Fund and participation in the management, he said.
According to the interlocutor of RBC, for partial payment state-owned shares “Bashneft” (exhibited on the privatization of 50.08%) can be raised funds at banks or future partners under the pledge of shares in “yargeo holds the exploration” — a joint venture of NOVATEK (51%) and Energy (49%), developing Yarudeyskoye oil field in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous district.
In August one of the “big four” evaluated 100% “yargeo holds the exploration” of $4-5 billion, reported RNS. This assessment confirmed RBC a source close to “Energy”: the Foundation annually appeals to the “big four” to evaluate their assets. Evaluation of “yargeo holds the exploration” of $2 billion is quite adequate, because the company receives tax incentives and has reached its design capacity of 3.5 million tons of oil a year, said the analyst of “Renaissance Capital” Ildar Davletshin.
Thus laying the package, Yusufov’s company can attract $2-2. 5 billion will be enough to pay almost half the government’s stake in Bashneft: by order of the government E&Y estimated of 50.08% of the oil company in 306 billion rubles ($4.7 billion). The Fund conducts a “preliminary talks” with all the major banks, said the interlocutor of RBC, close to the consortium of investors led by “Energy.”
Shares of “Energy” in “yargeo holds the exploration” (24,5%) lies in the Swiss “daughter” of Gazprombank under the loan of RUB 16 billion, reported by Forbes magazine a year ago. What now remains is a small Deposit of shares of the Fund in “yargeo holds the exploration Gazprombank, recognizes the interlocutor of RBC. But this loan is repaid ahead of schedule, so the shares are released from the pledge, he adds. The representative of Gazprombank does not comment on it.
According to Forbes, in the summer of 2015 Yusufov received an offer from Vietnam’s PetroVietnam to purchase half of its stake in OOO yargeo holds the exploration” (24,5%) for about $600 million, that is, the whole company was estimated at $2.4 billion, the Fund’s Representative has not commented on the negotiations with the Vietnamese. However, a year ago, the project has not yet been launched. NOVATEK only in January 2016 announced the release of the Deposit to design capacity.
“The big fight”
As part of the deal with partners for Bashneft as collateral can act as future Fund’s share in the “Bashneft” in the case of investor funds to Fund its acquisition, said a source close to the consortium. The transfer of the company’s privatization will allow the “Energy” to better prepare for the auction and arrange everything with partners, he adds.
“Bashneft” is a great asset (at the end of 2015, produced nearly 20 million tons of oil, and this year plans to exceed this level) and has political importance, so it will be a great battle among the major players, such as Rosneft and LUKOIL, indicates Davletshin from Renaissance Capital”: this will allow to strengthen the lobbying resource and regional influence. Therefore, the chances Yusufov with partners is low, the expert concludes.
However, the representatives of LUKOIL in April said they would not pay for “Bashneft”. Against the participation in the auction “Rosneft” is the government. However, the head of “Rosneft” Igor Sechin, told Vedomosti that the ban the government should issue a special Directive. The delay in privatization of “Bashneft” at hand to Sechin, said on Thursday, Reuters: it gives his company more time to raise funds for the deal. Free cash flow of Rosneft in the second quarter of 2016 was decreased from $1.5 billion to $1.2 billion, and net debt was reduced from $23.9 billion to $23.4 billion
The press service of LUKOIL and “Rosneft” on Friday did not respond to requests to RBC. As the representative of another bidder group “New thread” (it includes Antipinsky oil refinery) said that her interest in the privatization of “Bashneft”, despite the transfer deadline. Evaluation of “Bashneft”, held E&Y, “adequate”, but the total could rise, he admitted.