21 Mar 2013 18:16

Bokarev, Timchenko to create joint rail carrier given liberalization of locomotive market

MOSCOW. March 21 (Interfax) - Russian billionaires Andrei Bokarev and Gennady Timchenko plan to jointly form a rail carrier, given the liberalization of the Russian market in locomotives.

Timchenko is the main owner of the company LLC Transoil, which owns a fleet of almost 40 locomotives. At the end of last year, Bokarev and his partner Iskander Makhmudov acquired a 13% stake in the company.

"If there is an expansion of the operator market for train haulage, Timchenko and I will create a separate company, roughly on a 50-50 basis, for transportation operations," Bokarev told journalists in Moscow on Thursday on the sidelines of a Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) forum.

Bokarev stressed that this new carrier will be established "when the time comes," meaning once the necessary legislation is adopted and the rules of the game defined.

He added that he does not rule out increasing his stake in Transoil, a decision on which might be made by the end of this year.

At this point, the stake Bokarev shares with Makhmudov in Transoil suits the two businessmen. By purchasing this stake, Bokarev is able "to see how the largest carrier of today in the country, the largest operating company in terms of loading, works," he said.

When asked about his plans to increase the stake in Transoil, Bokarev responded, "maybe to a blocking stake."

He added that Transoil's business is efficient and profitable.

As a result of the purchase of 13% in Transoil by Bokarev and Makhmudov at the end of last year, Timchenko's stake was reduced to 80%, and the stake belonging to N-Trans co-owner Andrei Filatov remained at 7%.

Meanwhile, on Thursday Transoil said that a representative of the structure controlled by Bokarev and Makhmudov that bought the 13% stake - executive director of The Breakers Investments (the parent company of railway machine-building holding Transmashholding (TMH)) Indrek Gusev - had joined the carrier's board of directors. Transoil's shareholders elected a new board at an extraordinary meeting.

In fact, Transoil's board of directors was expanded from five to six members. Those who kept their seats included chairman of the board of directors of OJSC Stroytransgaz Igor Romashov, head of the supervisory board of charitable foundation Ladoga Ksenya Frank, member of the strategic planning committee on the board of directors of OJSC SG-Trans Alexei Kuvandykov, chairman of the boards of directors of LLC Status and LLC Nadymstroygazdobycha Victor Komanov (as independent), and member of the board of directors of Global Ports (one of N-Trans' assets) Alexander Nazarchuk.

Romashov was elected chairman of Transoil's board of directors.