21 Dec 2010 18:52

Timchenko, Mikhelson get 2-yr option to buy 9.4% of NOVATEK shares from Gazprombank

MOSCOW. Dec 21 (Interfax) - A company belonging 50/50 to NOVATEK co-owners Gennady Timchenko and Leonid Mikhelson has secured a two-year option to buy 9.4% of NOVATEK shares Gazprom sold to Gazprombank, a NOVATEK statement says.

The statement says that Hibridge Ventures Limited, which the two businessmen own on a parity basis, clinched a deal on Tuesday conferring the right to acquire from Dhignfinolhu Holding Limited 9.4% of the NOVATEK shares within two years.

It was reported on Monday that the Gazprom group had sold ZGG Cayman Holding Limited, owner of the 9.4% NOVATEK share interest, to Dhignfinolhu Holding, an SPV operating in this deal in Gazprombank's interests. Gazprom sold this stake at market price, judging from quotations for NOVATEK GDR on the London Stock Exchange.

Gazprom purchased 19.4% of the NOVATEK stock in 2006 for $2.3 billion. Company management said previously that Gazprom intended to hold onto the other 10%.

Timchenko's Volga Resources holds 23.13% of the stock in NOVATEK, and has been given permission by Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) to increase the stake to 23.49%.