Shcherbovich asks for peace, but prepares for war

Head of UCP Foundation Ilya Shcherbovich, who failed to win back the money for the non-voting shares of Transneft, offered a 'peace treaty'. But on his own terms.
Ilya Shcherbovich's UCT Foundation, which has been for many years suing Transneft for the payment of dividends on preferred shares for 2013 for, asked the court to adjourn the hearing on the plea since the defendant is ready to offer an option of a settlement agreement. The hearing was rescheduled for March 13th. However, alongside with that lawsuit, court proceedings in another lawsuit challenging the payment of dividends in favor of the UCP in 2015, have also been suspended.

Transneft announced that it is ready to listen to a variant of a settlement agreement, but a delay in the trial causes concern, especially since so far no proposals were made. Note that UCP is the owner of about 71% of all preferred shares of the Transneft it's almost 500 thousand securities and 15.5% of the share capital. In 2013 Shcherbovich's fund for each preferred share got 724 rubles, while the holders of ordinary shares received 1221 ruble.

Transneft last year made a number of changes to the charter, which resulted in the reduction in price of the preferred shares and the loss of their holders the right to the payment of interim dividends. Ilya Shcherbovich's Foundation, which loses one court process after another, demands the difference, which amounts to about 100 million rubles. Experts believe the sum is not so significant for the businessman, and make the assumption that Shcherbovich, which is considered the man of the head of Rosneft Igor Sechin, pursues other plans: together with his "patron" (formerly Shcherbovich occupied a leading position in Rosneft) to kick Tokarev out from the post of Transneft head.

By the way, it is notable that the previous attempt of reconciliation, engineered by the Federal Property Management Agency, Nikolay Tokarev refused to support. Last year, the Federal Property Management Agency reported on the possibility of an amicable settlement, and then the court also gave a continuance. However, the representative of Transneft immediately dismissed the possibility to enter into the peace agreement. Now Tokarev was ready to "consider options." Something has changed or the position of the head of an oil operator, despite all won lawsuits, is not so strong as it seems?

If you want peace, prepare for war

It would seem that in such a hopeless situation, when Scherbovich loses one claim after another to Transneft, what terms of the agreement he can offer, in addition to a complete rejection of his claims? Last year, Transneft announced plans to conduct additional issue of preferred shares worth 50-60 billion rubles. But the company only issued ordinary shares, and only for 6 billion rubles. A planned release is inhibited by UCP, which announced that it had the right to block an additional issue.

It should be noted that the owners of the preferred shares often can not vote at general meetings of shareholders. However, their voices count when it comes to issues that could lead to infringement of the rights of holders of preferred shares. In such a case, the decision requires the consent of at least 75% of the holders of preferred shares, according to the Law on Joint Stock Companies.

"Transneft" with its record losses required funds. But to attract them to the extent necessary without the consent ShCherbovicha company actually can not. Therefore, market analysts expect that turned out to be in a hopeless situation Tokarev could agree to go to the world the UCP. The longer bude protracted conflict, the greater the probability that the current head of "Transneft" can lose its post-paid.


Several participants of the oil market does not rule out that the entire judicial campaign Sechin and ShCherbovicha is a stage for "squeezing" Tokarev of "Transneft". According to rumors, Mr. Scherbovich has extensive skills that a known probability can be described as a raider. In particular, in 2014 the founder of the social network "VKontakte" Pavel Durov was effectively "squeezed" out of business. The author carried out the scheme familiar with the matter referred to it Ilya ShCherbovicha. Suspension Durov considered a number of experts as the seizure of assets - ie raiding. And the main interested parties called Igor Sechin.

In 2015, UCP increased its stake in the Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant. This was preceded by buying shares of the asset, but has acquired securities in the fund is not the main owners and minority shareholders. The aim is also called seizure of control over the asset.

"Deceptive" truce

To doubt that the campaign launched against Scherbovich Tokarev, has the character of "squeezing" the manager, it is difficult. Moreover, that "Transneft" is now also suing the "Rosneft" and "Bashneft". On the second front in the active Tokarev comes the head of "Rosneft" Igor Sechin. "Rosneft", and after it and controlled oil giant "Bashneft" went to court, accusing the "Transneft" in the actual theft of oil under the guise of its losses during transportation.

The conflict between Igor Sechin and Nikolai Tokarev, rather, between the companies headed by them, broke out early last year. "Rosneft" has refused to sign an annual contract for oil transportation. Oil giants were not satisfied with the method of calculation of loss during shipment. In "Transneft" claim that the state-owned company under the leadership of Igor Sechin cranks such trick every year, trying to "knock out" for an exclusive transport conditions by delaying the signing of the agreement.

In late January, Igor Sechin called the specific volume. Allegedly, only the results of 2016 "Transneft", "lost" in transit up to 0.7 million tons of oil. Of the 483.3 million pumped by pipeline monopoly tons of oil "Transneft" under the guise of deducted losses of 0.14%, representing 676.2 thousand tons of raw materials. The amount, according to Sechin, is comparable to the annual output of a single field.

In early February, Igor decided to "make war" with the help of contacts in the country's leadership. The head of "Rosneft" complained to at the "Transneft" Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and asked for the policy to intervene in the conflict. In turn, the Prime Minister gave to understand the issue of the Federal Antimonopoly Service. Thus, say familiar with the situation, the FAS were cut of two identical complaints from "Rosneft" - one was sent directly, the second - "descended" from Medvedev.

Even before the Court as an interim measure prohibited "Transneft" to suspend the pumping of "black gold" from the developed "Rosneft" deposits, despite the fact that the contract between the two companies and has not been signed. The position of "Rosneft" solid, because the raw material continues to be pumped. And here at the "Transneft" observed problems: in 2014 the state company has lost more than 100 billion rubles. It is known that if the State upon asset shows continuous losses, first of all the authorities think about the change in the leadership of this company. If Sechin at par with Scherbovich achieve replacement Tokarev, it is likely that a new top manager is compliant ...

On the other hand, experts say that Igor Sechin's victory over Nikolai Tokarev is not obvious. Close to the Kremlin are both considered top manager, but the recent "achievements" Igor Ivanovich in lobbying for their interests speak about strengthening its position. In this case, do not rule familiar with the situation, the authorities can attend to the preservation of a certain equilibrium and "slow down" the appetites of the head of "Rosneft".

Nevertheless, the "truce" offered Scherbovich most likely means one thing: the chances of Nikolai Tokarev fly off the efforts of the head office UCP and its patron are large enough. Igor Ivanovich used to achieve the desired.