13 Nov 2017 13:09

Russian Energy Ministry confirms it did not consider Bashneft sale to Rosneft advisable

MOSCOW. Nov 13 (Interfax) - The Russian Energy Ministry considered the sale of Bashneft to Rosneft to be inadvisable and that synergies of 160 billion rubles were not obvious, First Deputy Minister Alexei Teksler said in court during the trial of former Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev.

Teksler said the Energy Ministry was not directly involved with the deal and did not conduct an analysis.

Teksler said that the Energy Ministry was following a government instruction to make a report on the deal in preparation of the negative conclusion which was to be guided by the inadvisability of the involvement of a company either directly or indirectly controlled by the state in the privatization process.

The instruction was signed by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich. Teksler read out the Energy Ministry's response to the instruction to approve the deal in court: "In accordance with the President's and government's instruction, the Energy Ministry, as part of its remit, reports the inadvisability of companies, either directly or indirectly controlled by the government, in the privatization of property, owned by the state," the first deputy energy minister said.

"In the second paragraph it is said that the synergies of 160 billion rubles require more detailed study with the implementation of the relevant instructions," the deputy minister said.

Teksler, who was at that time chairman of the Bashneft board of directors, said that there were no vested interests in rejecting the sale of Bashneft to Rosneft. "There were no vested interests. I was chairman of the board by instruction of the government," he said.