Vnesheconombank starts to dispose of non-core assets

Vnesheconombank begins to dispose of non-core assets - the first applicants for sale have been identified. These are two shopping centers in Moscow, a department store in Novosibirsk, a hotel in Sochi and a metallurgical plant in the Czech Republic.
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Vnesheconombank, which was headed by former First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov in May, decided on the first non-core assets that are potentially ready to sell, two sources familiar with the situation told RBC. According to them, these are the shopping and business center Novinsky Passage and the Tsvetnoy department store located in the center of Moscow, the Pilsen Steel metallurgical plant in Chelyabinsk, the Novosibirsk shopping center Sibirsky Mall and the Sochi hotel Radisson Blu Resort & Congress Center. Each object will be accepted by the strategy committee under the supervisory board of the state corporation, say RBC sources.

At the same time, the Tsvetnoy department store has already been officially put up for sale - commercial announcements about collection of non-binding offers from potential buyers are placed in paper versions of the Vedomosti and Kommersant newspapers, as well as on the website of the investment division of VEB Capital.

"VEB's new management proceeds from the fact that the Development Bank should not manage shopping centers, hotels and metallurgical plants," says a source familiar with the situation. According to him, there are no specific deadlines for the implementation of the facilities. "VEB will expect bona fide buyers who guarantee further economic development of assets, preservation of teams, technologies, etc.," he explains. - The procedure is clear: the public offer - the appearance of the buyer - the negotiations - the announcement of the transaction - the sale. "

At the moment there is an individual strategy for each asset, they will be additionally audited, VEB's press service said in response to RBC's request for plans for a state corporation to sell non-core assets. "The state corporation will conduct an open and public procedure for all assets, not just those mentioned," VEB said. For investors, it is planned to create a data room that will contain all the information that potential buyers need. "VEB can remain in the capital of organizations whose competencies and technologies will be in demand for them as the Development Bank," VEB added. Among VEB's non-core assets, trade and hotel complexes are the most liquid, which means that they can be implemented in a relatively short time, says analyst of Moody`s Lev Dorf. For VEB, the withdrawal from non-core assets is a fundamental step, especially in the situation when the state corporation receives large-scale support from the state, that is, at the expense of taxpayers, he notes. At the same time, this is a clearing of the balance sheet, which reduces pressure on the capital, and also optimizes the business and the cost structure, which is important for an organization that has been unprofitable for the last few years, Dorf concludes.

Legacy of Globex

Real estate, which is going to sell VEB, went to the state corporation after the crisis of 2008-2009, together with the bank Globex, which Vnesheconombank took for refurbishment ten years ago. The largest asset from commercial real estate intended for sale is Novinsky Passage (Novinsky Boulevard, 31). The area of ​​the trade and business center is 78 thousand square meters. m, of which 36.7 thousand square meters. m is leased for offices and 10.5 thousand square meters. m - for retail space. VEB is trying to sell the Novinsky Passage since 2011, but has not yet found buyers (the state corporation was closest to selling it in 2014 - a deal with Mikhail Gutseriev's Safmar group for 13.5 billion rubles was lost due to the collapse of the ruble). As Kommersant wrote, many potential buyers were deterred by a high price for the facility - $ 420 million. In January 2017, Vnesheconombank CEO Sergey Gorkov said that Novinsky Passage brought VEB 1 billion rubles. per year, and "from those who bring income, you need to get rid of the last."

The Tsvetnoy department store belonged to the Rose Group developer, 74% of which consolidated Globex after it got to the VEB reorganization. The building is located at Tsvetnoy Boulevard, 15. The total area of ​​the seven-story shopping center is 36.5 thousand square meters. The department store is "a bright, eclectic place in the spirit of a modern metropolis", VEB describes this object in the presentation, promising to disclose to the potential buyer financial information about the asset on the principles of confidentiality. The area of ​​the Novosibirsk shopping center "Siberian Mall" from the legacy of "Globex" - 65 thousand square meters. m. In December 2016, Sergei Gorkov talked about plans to sell a shopping center.

According to Denis Platov, director of the department of capital markets at Colliers International, Novinsky Passage could cost 15-16 billion rubles, and Tsvetnoy - 10-11 billion rubles. These are sign assets of institutional quality, so they will maintain liquidity in the long term, Platov said. "With a consistent sales strategy, both assets will be of interest to a broad pool of investors," he said.

"It seems to me that VEB did not have a task simply to sell these objects, but only to sell them at a high price. They tried to sell them above the market, "said Key Capital CEO Sergey Kamlyuk. The problem with these objects is that they hit the bank's balance sheet for a long time - then they were expensive, some were priced in dollars, and since then the economic situation has changed - prices have fallen, explains Kamlyuk. To sell these assets, it is necessary that someone in the bank took responsibility and decided to reduce the price of objects and to confirm their real value, the expert believes.

Russian Steel in the Czech Republic

VEB received control of the Pilsen Steel plant in the Czech Republic in 2015. The state corporation in 2010, credited United Pilsen Igor Shamis for € 110 million to purchase Pilsen Steel from the group "United Machine-Building Plants" (the total amount of the transaction was € 125.6 million). The loan was mortgaged 100% stake in the plant. In 2012, Pilsen Steel filed for bankruptcy, and in 2013, VEB Capital (VEB's investment subsidiary) became the owner of Pilsen Toll, which financed the production at the plant. Pilsen Toll is in talks with Pilsen Steel customers, and also purchases raw materials for the plant. Sources Kommersant in the summer of 2015 said that Shamis should VEB and "VEB Capital" to € 200 million.

In Pilsen Steel, according to the company's statements for 2017, employs more than 700 people, last year Pilsen Steel produced 38.8 thousand tons of steel and 4.9 thousand tons of pig iron. According to the Pilsen Steel itself, in 2016-2017, Pilsen Toll provided financing for € 50 million.

European steel assets have a bad reputation, says Maxim Khudalov, director of corporate ratings at ACRA. "While the economy is not very good, the level of social obligations is traditionally high. Employees are well aware of the tough conditions to maintain the number of personnel that local regulators place on Russian investors, and are using this situation with might and main, "the analyst points out. According to Khudalov, without a debt, Pilsen Steel would have cost about € 100 million, but taking into account its debt, most likely it will have to be transferred to a new investor for a symbolic amount with the obligation to start paying the debt regularly.

Hotel for world leaders

Another object that VEB plans to put up for sale is the five-star Radisson Blu Resort & Congress Center, built ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Earlier, the 508-room hotel was owned by the structure of former president of Intourist Abbas Aliyev - ZAO Hotel Development. Aliyev took a loan in VEB for the construction of the hotel, but he could not return it - as a result, the state corporation took the asset. Radisson Blu is used to hold meetings at the highest level - for example, in 2016 there were meetings of Vladimir Putin with the leaders of the ASEAN countries.

The whole business in the Czech Republic on one site: Restaurants, pubs, hotels, resorts, companies, institutions, museums, car services.

The fact that VEB is looking for a buyer for the hotel, RBC wrote back in the summer of 2016, experts estimated the asset at $ 120-150 million. It was also reported that the interest of the group "Syndica" Arsen Kanokov and "Basel" Oleg Deripaska. In June 2017, Sergei Gorkov said that VEB suspended the process of selling the hotel. "He began to bring a good profit. We think that in the autumn we will return to the issue of sale to cover the summer season. I hope, we will be able to enter the market with the best conditions for ourselves, "Gorkov said.