31 Aug 2018 18:50

Renault-Nissan, Rostec plan to bring stake in Avtovaz up to 100%, delisting possible

MOSCOW. Aug 31 (Interfax) - Rostec Auto B.V., a joint venture (JV) between Rostec and Renault-Nissan Alliance, is planning to 100% consolidate its stake in Avtovaz following an offer and squeeze-out of minority shareholders after which a delisting of Avtovaz shares is possible, Renault Group Senior Vice President and chief of the Eurasia region Nicolas Maure said in an interview with Interfax.

He said that Avtovaz shareholders are conducting a recapitalization of the company under the plan agreed upon by Renault and Rostec. "As you will recall, at the end of 2016 we conducted a public additional share issue and held a private additional share issue this year and are now sending an obligatory buyback offer, after which over 95% of shares should have been consolidated. As soon as we see that this threshold has been reached - the results will be ready on September 10 - then we can get started on the final process which will enable our JV Rostec Auto B.V. to bring its stake up to 100%," Maure said.

"It's possible," he said, responding to a question of whether Avtovaz is planning a delisting.

Maure said the timing of a squeeze-out had not yet been decided. "A few Central Bank regulatory procedures need to be completed, so I cannot tell you a precise date. This will take a few months but we have no firm schedule yet," he said.

Nor is it yet known how much it will cost to buy the shares. "This will depend on the valuation of the shares, which the regulations say must be carried out," he said.

Commenting on the share prices for the mandatory offer, set at 12.4 rubles per ordinary share and 12.2 rubles per preferred share, Maure said this might differ in a squeeze-out. "And in order to set the price of a squeeze-out we would have to follow Central Bank rules. Plus the state protects the rights of minority shareholders, so we have to be certain we are doing things right," he said.

Avtovaz board chairman Sergei Skvortsov said in May that any offer made to minority shareholders would give the majority shareholder who has made the offer a stake of 8%-10% in the company.

A supplementary share issue raised the stake in Avtovaz held by Dutch-registered Alliance Rostec Auto B.V., a joint venture between the Renault-Nissan alliance and the Rostec state corporation. The Cyprus-registered renaissance Securities Limited owns 11.22%. According to Renault's annual report Alliance Rostec Auto B.V. controlled 88.69% of Avtovaz's shares, taking a "financial instrument" into account.