Выбор языка:
Нью-Йорк  : Лондон  : Брюссель  : Москва  : Астана  : Владивосток 
TT-Total Вход
Обзор новостей на TT-Total
State May Buy Stake in Power Machines

Interros is in talks to sell to the government a blocking stake in Siloviye Mashiny, or Power Machines, a senior manager of Interros said Thursday. The announcement comes only two months after the state anti-monopoly watchdog rejected a bid by Germany's Siemens to take control of the engineering giant.

The government would acquire the blocking 25 percent stake by paying cash or contributing state assets to the charter capital, Interros deputy general director Sergei Batekhin told reporters.

"First the state comes in; a foreign investor can then count on a minority stake," Batekhin said, Reuters reported.

Vladimir Potanin's Interros, which currently holds over 70 percent in Power Machines, was planning to sell a majority stake to Siemens in return for investments. However, the deal was rejected by the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service in April because of fears the transaction would compromise the company's defense production.

Over the past few years Interros has been shedding its noncore machine-building and defense enterprises, including Perm Engine Plant in Perm and Severnaya Verf shipyard in St. Petersburg. At the same time, the holding has been buying assets abroad. Last year, Interros' metals enterprise Norilsk Nickel acquired a stake in the South African company Gold Fields for $1.2 billion.

Thursday's announcement also comes only days after Gazprom-Media said it was about to buy a controlling stake in the national daily Izvestia from Prof-Media, Interros' media holding.

Stanislav Naumov, spokesman for the Energy and Industry Ministry, said that the talks about the potential sale of the stake in Power Machines were initiated by Interros and not by the government but declined to comment further.

Batekhin said that the company had two ways of developing: either through creation of a national energy machine-building corporation with the participation of the state or by attracting a foreign partner, news agencies reported.

Since April, Siemens has said a number of times that it is still interested in acquiring shares in Power Machines, but refused to comment on its possible involvement when contacted Thursday. Batekhin also said that the deal with the German heavyweight -- which he called "a foreign investor of priority" -- was still possible, Reuters reported.

However, the foreign partner -- either Siemens, the U.S.'s General Electric or France's Alstom -- will not be able to have more than a blocking stake, Batekhin said, the news agency RBK reported. Interros would also want to keep a controlling or a blocking stake in Power Machines, he said.

The final decision on foreign partnership will be made within half a year after the government draws up legislation on foreign investment in strategic companies, including those that have defense component, Batekhin said.

"Less than 25 percent for a foreign partner means that it will not have any rights in return for its investment and technology transfer," said Irina Lozhkina, machinery analyst at Prospekt brokerage.

She added that it was unlikely that the government would offer cash for the stake and would most probably "throw some state company into the charter capital [of Power Machines]."

Batekhin is expected to be appointed board chairman of Power Machines at the company's extraordinary shareholder meeting scheduled for June 12.

The decision to hold the meeting was made at Thursday's board meeting, where Igor Klochko was also appointed the company's new general director. Klochko, 36, will replace Yevgeny Yakovlev, the founder of Power Machines, who is leaving the company for health reasons.

Batekhin said Thursday that he was not ruling out a partnership with Russian companies such as United Heavy Machinery and Basic Element.

Basic Element, a holding company for aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, filed an application with the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service earlier this year to get control of Power Machines.

(The Moscow Times 10.vi.05)

News Archive