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Transneft gains control over Russia’s largest port operating group

Transneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, states that it has increased its stake in Russia’s biggest port operator Novorossiysk Commercial Seaport (NMTP) by 25%, to 60.62%

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The remaining shares are held by Russia’s Federal Property Agency (20%) and other minority holders.

 

To achieve this situation, Transneft has acquired a 50% stake in Novoport Holding (NH), a Cyprus-registered company that controls 50.12% of NMTP, from its former partner, Summa group, owned by the still-imprisoned-without-trial Ziyavudin Magomedov.

 

Thus Transneft now owns 100% of NH and 50.12% of NMTP. In addition, as affiliated Transneft-Service holds 10.5% in NMTP, its overall stake is 60.62%.

 

According to Transneft, it has financed the US$750M purchase from borrowed funds - it took out a large loan from Russia’s Sberbank at the beginning of 2018.

 

In addition to Novorossiysk port itself, NMTP group also comprises NovorosLesExport (NLE), Novorossiysk Grain Terminal, Novorossiysk Ship Repairing Yard, NMTP Fleet, Baltic Stevedoring Company, Primorsk Commercial Seaport and some other minor operations

 

During H1 2018, NMTP’s net profits decreased by 43% year on year to US$140.3M, while revenues increased by 7% to US$480.5M. Last year, the group handled 143.5 Mt of various cargoes compared with 146.9 Mt in 2016.

 

Since Ziyavudin Magomedov’s detention began on 31 March, the future of Summa’s assets and would-be alliances has been a topic of market gossip. Two years ago Transneft’s Board Chairman and President Nikolay Tokarev indicated a possible withdrawal from NMTP, but the situation has changed entirely. FAS’ head Igor Artemyev suggested Rosneft should acquire interest in buying Summa’s stake in NMTP to prevent Transneft taking control.

 

Now, as the transaction has been finally completed, Summa has expressed satisfaction with its eight-year-long cooperation with Transneft, as well as the deal results. While the threat of confiscation of all Ziyavudin Magomedov’s property by the court remains, it is believed that the bargain has been struck by authorised representatives of the detained billionaire.

 

 

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