27 Jul 2018 12:05

Summa in talks to sell unfinished terminal at port in Nakhodka for 1.45 bln rubles - paper

MOSCOW. July 27 (Interfax) - Summa Group, which manages the assets of arrested businessman Ziyavudin Magomedov, is in talks to sell Nakhodka Open Port (NOP) to companies controlled by Dmitry Bosov, owner of Siberian Anthracite, business daily Vedomosti reported on Friday, citing sources.

Businessman Roman Trotsenko has also shown interest in the asset, which is valued at 1.45 billion rubles, the paper said.

No binding documents have been signed yet, the paper said, citing a source close to one of Bosov's companies. "The port could potentially be interesting, but the advisability of acquiring it now is open to question. The utilization of port capacity cannot be guaranteed by the throughput capacity of railways," the source said. Furthermore, there is already a large amount of coal handling capacity in Russia's Far East, including the Port of Vostochny, and Bosov is building the Vera Port, the source added.

The possible deal could be complicated by the fact that Magomedov has been under arrest since March. He and his older brother are accused of creating a criminal group and stealing about 2.5 billion rubles in government money. It is clear that such a deal would only be possible with the approval of the authorities, political analyst Alexei Makarkin said.

Not a single Russian company will even consider such a purchase without first discussing it with the government, Makarkin said. "But if they say: 'Go ahead, buy, the main thing is that it doesn't go abroad'...Well then takers will be found. Naturally not without a discount for toxicity," he said.

A representative of Summa Group did not deny the report that a deal was being prepared. "We had several offers, but we weren't happy with them and we plan to develop the project independently," he said.

A representative of Bosov and Trotsenko declined to comment, the paper said.

If a deal is made, Cyprus-based Silkenio Enterprise Ltd, which owns 100% of NOP, will be sold.

NOP is building the Sever coal terminal with capacity of about 20 million tonnes at the Port of Vostochny in Nakhodka. Investment in the project, according to Kommersant, was supposed to total about 12.8 billion rubles. The terminal was supposed to open in 2018. Based on the current state of the facility, no more than 1 billion rubles has been invested in it so far, the CEO of Infoline-Analitika, Mikhail Burmistrov estimated.

This deal would benefit Magomedov, Vedomosti's sources believe. Given the freezing of his accounts and assets, Magomedov needs funds, a source close to the tycoon told the paper. The port has not been frozen, the source said.

If what is being discussed is the sale of the Cyprus-based company and not the port itself, then this certainly means a deal under foreign law, BMS Law Firm partner Denis Frolov said. In that case, Magomedov could avoid the freezing of funds that could happen if the deal was done in Russian jurisdiction, he said.

The buyer would also have to assume obligations to state bank VEB, which extended a credit line of $200 million to NOP to finance construction of the terminal, a source close to Summa told the paper.

"Nothing was drawn from this credit line and nothing will be drawn," a Summa spokesman said. "First we need to optimize the business plan, then we'll invest," he said. A spokesman for VEB declined to comment.