Order Of Putin
On Tuesday, July 19, it became known that VTB Capital” sent to the world’s largest oil and gas companies and investment funds offers to purchase from the Russian government a 50.1% Bashneft. Proposals received and the Russian state. Officially this was announced by Rosneft, but sources also say that the proposal has received “Gazprom”, “Gazprom oil” and the Russian direct investment Fund (RDIF). Their representatives do not comment on this.
A source in banking circles said that the Vice Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich was extremely dissatisfied with the decision of VTB Capital’s” send to “Rosneft” offer to purchase “Bashneft”. The source says that the executives of VTB on Tuesday called the government and said that state-owned companies can’t be buyers of privatized assets. Also the comment from the Deputy Prime Minister received the new head of the Agency Dmitry Pristanskov.
The representative Dvorkovich Aliya Samigulina said that the issue is not dissatisfaction with the Deputy Prime Minister, but in the direct instruction of President Vladimir Putin’s government to state-owned companies in privatization was not involved. To confirm the fact of a call Dvorkovich in VTB and the Agency she did not. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister says that Britain didn’t call anyone, but really instructed to remind you that the President said”.
A senior source in the presidential administration confirms that there is an order of Putin to the government to prevent state-owned companies, including Rosneft, to participate in the privatization of “Bashneft”. “Agreed that “Rosneft” will not participate”, — said the source . Press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov and the representative of the Federal property management Agency did not respond to a request.
In a press-service VTB said that the privatization of “Bashneft” will be held “in strict compliance with the legislation and the decisions of the President and the government”. “We broadly test the market to make recommendations on the structure of the transaction. The format of the transaction has not been approved by the government”, — stated in the answer Bank. Newsletter on a wide range of addresses — a normal practice when placing, usually investment banks, thus testing the market, confirms the investment banker.
“Rosneft” does not agree
In 2016-2017 for the replenishment of the Federal budget, the government plans to partially privatise several major state-owned companies: a 50.1% Bashneft, 19.5% of “Rosneft” 25% “Sovcomflot” and 10.9% of VTB. In early July on the Moscow stock exchange was sold a 10.9% stake in ALROSA for 53,3 billion rubles.
The law on privatization of state and municipal property prohibits to participate in the privatization of companies with the share of state participation of 25% or more. Among those who are “VTB Capital” have sent offers, the ban covers “Gazprom” and the Russian direct investment FUND, where the proportion of Rosimushchestvo 38.4 and 100%, respectively. In “Rosneft” and “Gazprom oil” the state has indirect control through “Rosneftegaz” (69,5%) and Gazprom (72.7 per cent). But the order of the President, apparently, makes it impossible to Rosneft participation in the privatization of “Bashneft”.
However, the representative of “Rosneft” Mikhail Leontyev had not heard about the order of Putin and reaction Dvorkovich. Leont’ev insists on the right of the company to participate in privatization. According to him, “Rosneft” not be legally considered as a public company. In addition, he recalled the words of first Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, who allowed the participation of Rosneft, if it will offer a high price and optimal conditions for the development of “Bashneft”.
Leontiev says that “Rosneft” is considering the suggestion of “VTB Capital” and the financial condition of the asset. According to calculations by Andrey Polishchuk from Raiffaisenbank, in the case of the purchase by Rosneft of a controlling stake in Bashneft’s reserves of “Rosneft” can grow by 5.34%, to 45.3 billion barrels. BC, and the daily oil production — by 7.14%, to 5.7 million barrels. a day. The value of the shares, the transaction will not affect, if “Rosneft” will buy a premium of no more than 15% of the market, says the expert: “If the prize is higher, then the capitalization may be reduced. Moreover, it should be noted that Bashkortostan remains blocking that hinders the full consolidation of the company,” sums up Polishchuk. According to senior analyst of Sberbank CIB Valery Nesterov, Rosneft may buy a stake in Bashneft with the money from the payment for the delivered oil to China.
A source in “Gazprom” says that the monopoly is not interested in “Bashneft”. Predpravleniya “Gazprom oil” Alexander Dyukov in June said that the company is buying state assets is not going to. According to him, the extra money is better spent on the payment of dividends. A source familiar with the position of RDIF, says that the Fund considers possibility of participation in privatization, along with other foreign funds, but the details refused.
Partner King & Spalding Ilya Rachkov believes that the decision to limit participation in privatization of companies with indirect state participation there is no violation of competition law. In this case, the law should be interpreted from the point of view of its meaning, not the letter. The purpose of privatization is to reduce the public sector”, — said the lawyer. But the ban can be formally not to break if the asset would buy a private company, and then resell it state-owned companies, he said. For example, it was in 2004, when Rosneft acquired Baikalfinancegroup, which three days earlier became the winner of gosection for the sale of 76.79% stake in Yuganskneftegaz, the main asset of Yukos.
There’s also another scheme, said Polischuk: “Bashneft” will buy Independent oil company (NOC) Eduard Khudainatov, and then fully or partially sell its assets to Rosneft. In the future “Rosneft” can buy the very NNK with all its fields and factories, said Polishchuk. “Rosneft” and NOCS are affiliates, pointed out in March, the Ninth arbitration court of appeal, considering the dispute about VAT refunds from the budget between the IRS and the owner of the NOC office. However, the Arbitration court of the Moscow district in early July, overturned the decisions of lower courts, as the parties to the dispute entered into a settlement agreement.