Group "Sum" can sell a stake in "Transcontainer"

In the fight for a blocking stake in the carrier, Vladimir Lisin and Roman Abramovich can clash.
Following the sale of the Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port, other plans of Ziyavudin Magomedov, the arrested owner of the Suma group, are also falling apart: the creation of a national container operator on the basis of Transcontainer. According to "Kommersant", now "Summa", on the contrary, wants to sell a blocking stake in the company, which costs over 16 billion rubles for the market. Among the main contenders sources on the market called structures close to Roman Abramovich and Alexander Abramov, already owning 24.5% of Transcontainer. Their most likely competitor is UCL Holding Vladimir Lisin.

The fact that the transport group FESCO (32.5% owned by Summa Ziyavudin Magomedov, arrested in late March on suspicion of fraud, embezzlement and organization of the criminal community) collects applications for the purchase of 25.07% of it in PJSC Transcontainer, told "Kommersant" sources in the market. The main contender for the purchase of a blocking stake is the structure close to Roman Abramovich and Alexander Abramov. Earlier in December 2017 it became known that the Yenisey Capital controlled by him acquired 24.5% of the operator from the Blagosostoyaniye NPF, and at the beginning of the week there was information that Vyacheslav Saraev, who is close to the structures of the gentlemen, could be appointed instead of Peter Baskakov Abramovich and Abramov (see "Online" on June 4). Invest AG Alexander Abramov and Millhouse Roman Abramovich declined to comment.

Gentlemen Abramovich and Abramov are interested in the purchase of Summa's stake in TransContainer, and the business entities have indeed filed an application, Kommersant sources confirm. But, according to them, "the process is competitive, there are other contenders", and it is premature to talk about the deal, nor about its structure. Kommersant's interlocutors in the market do not exclude that one of the bidders may be UCL Holding Vladimir Lisin, who claimed interest in 50% plus two shares of Transcontainer owned by Russian Railways. The UCL declined to comment.

In FESCO, Kommersant was informed that in the framework of current activities they regularly assess the portfolio of their assets. At present, no final decisions have been made related to the change in the share of participation in Transcontainer, FESCO was assured. In Summa, Kommersant confirmed that the group "does receive proposals from buyers", noting that there is as yet no principal position on the deal, as there is no decision by Russian Railways to privatize the state-owned stake (privatization of this stake is postponed for an indefinite period). In the monopoly, as in the Transcontainer, they declined to comment. The FAS "Kommersant" says that there have been no requests for a blocking stake in Transcontainer.

"Amount" owns a stake in Transcontainer since 2012 after the acquisition of FESCO, which then owned 23.7% of the operator. Later the package was increased to 25.07%. Ziyavudin Magomedov has repeatedly stated his desire to get at least control over Transcontainer, buying out the share of Russian Railways - entirely or tranches - and creating on the basis of the asset of the national container operator due to the synergy with FESCO. President Vladimir Putin in 2017 instructed to analyze the feasibility of selling a controlling stake in the PJSC, the agencies gave a positive conclusion and decided to do this at an open auction (planned for April). "Amount" was considered one of the main contenders, but after Ziyavudin Magomedov's arrest there they invariably stated that they did not plan any acquisitions.

Just a few weeks before the arrest of Mr Magomedov and his brother Magomed, it became known that "Sum" sells a stake in one of the most profitable assets - the Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port, where 50.1% of it belongs to Transneft on an equal footing.

The stake was to be bought by Transneft, which received permission from the FAS to acquire control, but due to "problems", including those related to the arrests, the negotiations were suspended.

The shares of Transcontainer, owned by FESCO, are pledged. Due to a default on eurobonds in 2016, the company raised a VTB loan at the end of 2017 for $ 150 million to refinance a repo loan by $ 149 million. The loan was secured by a 24.1% stake in the railway operator. As early as 2016, holders of FESCO Eurobonds offered the company to sell a package of Transcontainer, which was 24.1%, for $ 190 million, thereby ensuring repayment of debts.

In this situation, the desire to "Sum" sell a blocking stake in "Transcontainer" is understandable, says the head of the agency "Infoline-Analytics" Mikhail Burmistrov. According to him, the group lost hope of gaining control in the operator, and in such conditions it would be more profitable for it to sell its stake earlier than OJSC RZD will sell its stake. The game went ahead, the expert believes, - after the investor for the first deal appears, it will be more difficult to agree on a price or to find another company for the second package. Given the current situation with the shareholder of Sumy, as well as the fact that the shares are pledged, it is unlikely that the group can expect a premium to the market when selling, says Mr. Burmistrov, adding that the discount could be up to 20%. Yesterday at the Moscow stock exchange 25.07% of Transcontainer cost 16.5 billion rubles. The most favorable option for Russian Railways would be the sale of the "Sum" of the asset to a potential strategist who would compete with "Yenisei Capital", for example UCL, concludes the expert.