Potasic platform: why Prokhorov is buying a stake in Kerimov's Uralkali

"The deal of the Year" should put an end to the "Potassic War" of the Russian company with Minsk. Onexim could theoretically form an alliance with one of the global players on the market of mineral fertilizers.
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Suleiman Kerimov decided on the buyer "Uralkali": his stake in the company (21.75%) buys the founder of "Onexim" Mikhail Prokhorov. Yet nearly 12% of shares from Kerimov partners can acquire the owner of "Uralhima" Dmitry Mazepin.

On Monday afternoon the group "Onexim" Prokhorov (№10 in the ranking of 200 richest businessmen of Russia, according to Forbes, the state - $ 13 billion) confirmed that it has agreed to buy 21.75% of the securities in the fund senator from Dagestan, Kerimov (№20; state - $ 7 , 1 billion) Suleyman Kerimov Foundation.

The deal under duress

After the action the ad "Uralkali" on the Moscow Stock Exchange rose to a two-month high (+ 2.71%). The deal will be closed in the near future, the approval of the regulators is not required, according to the "Onexim" message. The amount of future transactions is not disclosed. But Karimov expected to sell its stake on the basis of evaluation of the whole company at $ 20 billion, said earlier a source close the "Uralkali". If so, then the purchase can cost Prokhorov to $ 4.35 billion this money Prokhorov is:. According to Forbes, the size of its "cash cushion" may constituteIt is about $ 8 billion (the sum accounts for $ 3.6 billion, which "Onexim" rescued from the sale of shares in gold Polyus Gold, where partner groups Prokhorov and Kerimov spoke structure). At the close of trading on the London Stock Exchange in the "Uralkali" Friday was worth about $ 16.3 billion.

Major shareholders of "BRIC" remain partners Kerimov - Filaret Galchev (7%) and Anatoly Skurov (4.8%). Negotiations on redemption of their shares is the owner of "Uralhima" Mazepin, which can become a junior partner Prokhorov "Uralkali", says a source close to the owner and manager of the creditor bank "Uralkali". About Mazepin arrangements to be announced in the coming weeks, according to Forbes is one of the interlocutors. Loan to finance the purchase Mazepin can provide VTB Bank, he said. The representative of "Uralhima" Alan Basiev is not commenting.

Sale of "BRIC" Karimov can be called involuntary. In the summer the company was in the middle of a loud international scandal, its general director Vladislav Baumgertner was arrested by the KGB of Belarus, and the Karimov on caredew republican government may be on the list of wanted by Interpol. The conflict concerns the scheme of export sales of the product "Uralkali" and state company "Belaruskali". Until the summer of this year, the two companies deliver their products for export through a single trader - "Belarusian Potash Company" (BPC). But in December 2012, Belarus has deprived CCL monopoly on exports. After seven months of negotiations, which came to nothing, "Uralkali" has announced that out of the BPC. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko reacted to the demarche partners Baumgertner arrest and publicly demanded that Karimov conceded the company of others.

As desired partner Lukashenko called the owner "RussNeft" and his long-time friend of Mikhail Gutseriev (№34 on the Forbes list, the state - $ 3 billion). In addition to the purchase of Gutseriev "Uralkali" claimed by the owner of AFK "Sistema" Vladimir Yevtushenko (number 23, $ 6.7 billion), the former head of the State Construction Committee Vladimir Kogan (№111, $ 950 million), the owner of "Stroygazmontazh" Arkady Rotenberg (№31, $ 3, 3 billion).

Scenarios for Prokhorov
However, Karimov must make good money on this investment. In mid-2010, he bought 25% of "BRIC" in its main owner Dmitry Rybolovlev (№14, $ 9,1 billion), based on the evaluation of the whole company at $ 10 billion - twice lower than the sale price under discussion (on the same conditions as the company's shares redeemed Kerimov and partners). At least $ 1 billion for this transaction Kerimov took VTB. But the interest on the loan should have been repaid by the generous dividends of "BRIC" (all from the purchase Kerimov was to receive from the company about $ 300 million).

General Director of "Onexim" Dmitry Razumov, whose words are contained in the press release, called the new investment "long" and "Uralkali" described as a company, "unique in terms of its market position and importance in the world economy." The market of potash fertilizers "in the future will develop in a positive scenario," and "the world's leading manufacturer and a key player in this market has significant growth potential value," said a top manager.

By purchasing "Uralkali", Prokhorov theory mozhet try to collect a large block of shares of a foreign company's competitors, and then to start talks on a possible alliance, told Forbes one of the friends of the entrepreneur. But the first thing, "Uralkali" owners will have to resolve the issue with Belarus. Most likely, we will focus on restoring the joint selling scheme. Due to the cancellation of the export through BPC "Belaruskali" until the bear heavy losses.

Lukashenko has repeatedly stated that the previous pattern of trade can be restored on the condition of major shareholders change "Uralkali". Head of "Belaruskali" Valery Kiriyenko, after the appearance of the press release, "Onexim," said he did not know anything about the purpose of the investment and is not familiar with Prokhorov himself a businessman. CCB spokesman said the company would "be happy, if it [the deal] will stabilize the market and tranquility."

Large income greater risks

"Uralkali" walked in pets investors since its release on the London Stock Exchange in 2007. The company has always known how to extract maximum benefit from the combination of itsdominant position in the market and very low cost. In 2012, for example, the profitability of "BRIC" EBITDA margin was 71% (for comparison: the "Rosneft" in the same year it was 19.8%).

But such a fantastic business profitability does not guarantee a quiet life owners, rather the contrary. Rybolovlev, painstakingly to buy shares of "BRIC" at all stages of the privatization, including the voucher auctions of the 1990s, controlled the company until 2010 and also was not going to leave the potash business. Businessman always feared that the government wants to lay his hands on the company, told Forbes familiar Rybolovlev. But vigilance is not helped - in 2006 at one of the mines of "BRIC" the accident occurred. First, the authorities recognized its force majeure, but two years later to re-understand the causes of the incident asked Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin. Before Rybolovlev loomed the prospect of huge fines or weaning business. The entrepreneur, who recently said that the company is going to pass by inheritance, prefer to sell it.

Kerimov spring of 2010, theate "Uralkali" from under his nose at the owner "Interros" Vladimir Potanin. "It was the classic M & A in Russian, without any due diligence and the signing of documents" - recalled in a conversation with one of Forbes Potanin managers. By purchasing "Uralkali", Kerimov hands of their partners gained control in the "Silvinit" (only Russian competitor "Uralkali") and merged the two companies.