UCP of Ilya Shcherbovich sold a stake in Gazprom's contractor

The controlling shareholder of Stroygazconsulting remains Gazprombank.
UCP Investment Group of Ilya Shcherbovich sold 50% of the contractor Gazprom - Stroygazkonsaltinga (SGK), told a "Vedomosti" person close to the SGS, and confirmed the managing director of UCP Communications, Irina Lanina. The deal was closed at the end of July.

The second half of the SGC belongs to Gazprombank, and its representative did not respond to the request. SGK declined to comment.

An application to the FAS concerning the deal with stakes in the SCS was not received, the service representative said.

SGK equips deposits, builds compressor stations, main pipelines, highways and bridges, its website says. The company was created by businessman Ziyad Manasir, thanks to the contracts of Gazprom, it became one of the largest, but it was not possible to stay on top.

Since 2012, SGC has increasingly lost the tenders of Gazprom to Stroytransneftegaz Gennady Timchenko and Stroygazmontazh Arkady Rotenberg. Then, bankruptcy claims from banks about collecting debts, which, as reported by Interfax, in 2015 reached 66 billion rubles. Revenues of the group SGK in 2013 fell by 33% to 260 billion rubles. In 2017, it amounted to 154 billion rubles. (unconsolidated data), net loss - 7 billion.

Manasir sold the company to Ruslan Baisarov, then the owners of GGCs on a parity basis became Gazprombank and UCP. They bought only the company's debt, sources of Interfax claimed.

The situation in the SCC began to improve. Issues were settled with creditors on debt restructuring, relations with the main customer, Gazprom, were restored, Lanina said. At the end of 2017, 73% of the SGC portfolio were contracted by Gazprom.

The buyer and the amount of transaction Lanin does not disclose. "UCP did not lose on investment in the GCE, but it did not work out well," she added. Experts do not take into consideration the cost of the SCC - the company is not transparent.

The buyer of the UCP stake could be the structure of Gazprombank, said Alexei Panin, director of the Moscow office of Urus Advisory. The option of entering the capital of existing market participants, in his opinion, is unlikely, as well as the emergence of a new one: "There is no more money in the industry, but in this room with multi-billion contracts and already it's crowded."

Gazprombank's structures retained control over the company, says a person close to the SGK.

According to SPARK-Interfax, the shares of SHC are distributed among four LLCs owned by Cypriot companies (the latest changes in the Cyprus registry were in 2015).

Now SGC - the second after "Stroygazmontazh" contractor "Gazprom". At the end of 2017, the concern issued guarantees to Gazprombank for SGCs for almost 82 billion rubles. under the security of loans, follows from the report under IFRS. "The issuance of such a guarantee most likely indicates that Gazprom intends to continue cooperation with the company and, if necessary, is ready to support it," says Dmitri Marinchenko, Director of Fitch Corporation. "The prospects of the SGC are largely related to how relations with Gazprom will develop, as well as the size of its capital program."

Gazprom, being the largest customer, completely determines the fate of the business of the SGC, with such dependence on one client of the company it is difficult to obtain an ideal business economy, while Gazprom is not interested in bankruptcy of the SGC, but also does not give fat to the company, says a person close to SGK.

The representative of Gazprom does not comment on the change of the shareholder of the SGC.

For UCP, the purchase of a stake in the SGC was an investment in a distressed project, says Lanina: "UCP believes that the main tasks are fulfilled. Given the lack of clear growth prospects for shareholder value, UCP considers it right to invest in other projects. "