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№ 1 (January 2007)

Yukos Assets to go on Auction in March

Yukos creditor committee published a statement in Rossiiskaya Gazeta announcing the first auction to sell Yukos’ stakes in Gazprom Neft and Rosneft is to be held in March. The statement did not disclose any other decisions regarding the principles of the auction process made at the creditors’ meeting on Tuesday. Reuters reports the first assets to go on auction could be Yukos’ minor stakes in Rosneft and Gazprom-Neft with the starting price being slightly below that of the market level.

By Sergei Balashov

According to Reuters, the company’s 9.4% stake in Rosneft would start with the price of RUR 180 billion ($6.87 bn) and its 20% stake in Gazprom Neft is expected to go for sale at about RUR 105 billion ($4 bn). RBC reports the market price of the assets is estimated around RUR 192 bn ($7.33 bn) for Yukos’ Rosneft stake and RUR 111.3 bn ($4.25 bn) for that of Gazprom-Neft. 

Among the potential bidders are state owned oil company Rosneft, Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, U.S. oil major Chevron which is expected to place a joint bid with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries (RIL) along with other big international companies also expressing interest in buying Yukos’ property, reports Reuters. Gazprom has already allocated RUR 99.6 billion ($3.75 bn) in its budget to buy the 20% stake in Gazprom-Neft to gain total control over the company, according to Commersant newspaper. The remaining assets which are set to be sold to pay the company’s numerous debts include fields with a total production capacity of 470,000 barrels of oil a day, five refineries and mid-sized gas and power assets officially estimated to be worth approximately $22 billion. The final valuations will be concluded in February allowing the start of the auctions. 

Former Russian oil major Yukos was declared bankruptcy on August 1st 2006 and Eduard Rebgun was named the company’s bankruptcy receiver. This decision came after a series of lawsuits filed against the company following the imprisonment of owners Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev for fraud and tax evasion. Vremya Novostei states the company owes RUR 429.25 bn ($16.38 bn) to the Federal Tax Agency, RUR 263.69 ($10.06 bn) to Rosneft, RUR 12.25 bn ($477 mil) to Tomskneft, RUR 1.85 bn ($70.62 mil) to Samaraneftegaz and RUR 228.43 bn ($8.72 bn) to Siberian Service Company with the total debt reaching RUR 709.15 bn ($27.07 bn).

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