ERJ staff report (EPN)
Moscow -- Russian billionaire Leonid Mikhelson has concluded his planned full takeover of Russia's leading polymers and petrochemicals company Sibur Holding, through his investment firm Dellawood Holdings. It is likely that the new owners will want to speed the divestment of Sibur's tyre-making subsidiary, Sibur-Russian Tyres.
While Mikhelson has upped his stake in Sibur from 50 percent to 57.5 percent, his partner in Cyprus-based Dellawood and energy trader Gennady Timchenko acquired a 37.5 percent shareholding in the petrochemicals group. The remaining 5 percent stake is held by Sibur's top management.
In December 2010, Mikhelson, head of Russia's leading non-state owned gas producer Novatek, bought a 25 percent share of Sibur from the giant state run Gazprom energy group, through Dellawood offshoot Miracle. That purchase came with an option to increase the stake to 50 percent which Mikhelson took up early this year.
Gazprom group's former investment vehicle Gazprombank valued Sibur at â‚¬5.5bn ($7.35bn) excluding debt at the end of last year, according to the Reuters news agency. But the value of the latest takeover deal has not been formally disclosed.
Timchenko, a fellow majority shareholder of Novatek with Mikhelson, backs the current Sibur management and supports the petrochemicals company's existing development strategy.
"Sibur is one of Russia's fastest-growing companies, and that is why I was keen to accept Leonid Mikhelson's offer to become a shareholder. Sibur's management team is highly qualified for the job," Reuters quoted Timchenko as saying as the deal was announced on 28 October.
He told Russia's Itar-TASS news agency: â€œWe intend to take an active part in the development of the company (Sibur) in accordance with the existing strategy.â€
Mikhelson was attracted to Sibur because of Russia's ample feedstocks, its expanding market and a domestic undersupply of petrochemical products.
Longer term, Mikhelson is believed to want to take Sibur, which reprocesses more than half Russia's natural gas, public. But a more immediate priority is the disposal of Sibur's non-core activities: fertiliser and tyre production.
From European Plastics News (A Crain publication)