AFK Sistema ahead of schedule repaid its debt to Gazprombank and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RFPI), taking for this purpose a loan from Bank Otkrytie for RUB15 bn. This allowed the company to withdraw from the pledge a controlling stake in Detsky Mir, which in the future could be sold to an outside investor. Such a deal analysts expect until mid-2019.
On Monday, AFK Sistema announced early repayment of the loan to Gazprombank and RFPI for 40 billion rubles. At the time of repayment, AFK's debt to the organizations was 20 billion rubles: 5 billion of them. the company paid by own means, the remaining 15 billion rubles. borrowed from the bank "Discovery". The other half of the loan from Gazprombank and RFPI was refinanced by the Corporation in the first quarter of 2018 with the help of a credit line from Sberbank.
The loan of RFPI and Gazprombank, attracted in February for a period of 180 days, was required by Sistema to fulfill its obligations under the agreement concluded in December 2017 with Rosneft in the framework of the dispute over Bashneft's dividends. In total, under the terms of the agreement, AFC transferred 100 billion rubles to Bashneft's accounts. Provision for the loan of Gazprombank and RFPI became Sistema's 52.009% stake in Detsky Mir. "Attracting a loan from the Bank" Opening "allows you to withdraw collateral," said vice president for finance and investments of the AFC Vladimir Travkov on Monday.
In December 2017, Sistema was planning to reduce its stake in Detsky Mir after the SPO retailer: for 5% of the shares the company was to receive 3.3 billion rubles. The deal did not take place, as Rosneft arrested AFC assets through the court. In late May, the main owner of the corporation Vladimir Yevtushenkov in an interview with RBC said that AFC can sell its stake in the "Children's World". At that time, he said, there were three candidates for the controlling stake in the retailer. "If we are satisfied with the prize for control, then, perhaps, we will sell," said Mr. Yevtushenkov. At the same time, he noted that every quarter the price of Detsky Mir shares is growing, "so there is no need to cut a golden chicken that carries golden eggs."
In the first half of 2018, Detsky Mir's revenue increased by 14.3%, to 48.1 billion rubles, while the sales of comparable stores increased by 5.6%. The general director of the retailer Vladimir Chirakhov said that for the first six months the company expects an EBITDA increase of at least 38% yoy. On Monday at the Moscow Stock Exchange, the capitalization of Detsky Mir amounted to 66.36 billion rubles, Sistema's share was worth 34.51 billion rubles.
Mr. Kopytov did not comment on the sale of the Sistema package in the Children's World on Monday. "While there seems to be no need to sell this asset, we believe that AFC will try to withdraw from Detsky Mir during the next 6-12 months," analysts of Renaissance Capital said on Monday who recently met with the CEO of Sistema, Andrei Dubovskov and Mr. Travkov.
Analyst Freedom Finance Valery Bezuglov believes that the withdrawal of shares of the "Children's World" from the pledge will activate the sale of the package "System" in the retailer.
According to him, taking into account this deal, as well as dividends received in July from MTS in the amount of 23 billion rubles. The net debt of AFK will decrease to 155 billion rubles, which will make the company's credit load much more comfortable. "At the same time, the sale of Detsky Mir will have virtually no impact on the holding's revenues, since the current contribution of the retailer is about 5% of the annual OIBDA of AFK Sistema," Mr. Bezuglov argues.
Repayment of the debt to Gazprombank and RFPI was positively received by Sistema's investors. On Monday, at the close of trading on the London Stock Exchange, securities of corporations went up by 5.25%, its market capitalization was $ 1.41 billion.