20 Oct 2009 18:42

Melamed: offer to minorities in Bashkir cos to follow offer for Bashneft shares

MOSCOW. Oct 20 (Interfax) - AFK Sistema will most likely make an offer to minority shareholders in the Bashkortostan energy companies after the offer to minority shareholders in Bashneft expires, Sistema President Leonid Melamed told journalists.

"Perhaps it will be announced after the Bashneft offer expires. Perhaps the offer to minority shareholders in the Bashtek companies will be made by Bashneft itself," he said.

Melamed said his company is not for now in talks with minority shareholders in Bashneft, particularly Prosperity Capital Management, concerning an alteration in the terms of the offer. It was reported earlier that Prosperity Capital said the offer price for the Bashneft shares was very low.

"At this stage we are not conducting such talks," Melamed said.

Sistema is interested in buying the maximum amount of shares in the Bashneft, but not at any price. "We want to receive the maximum, but at a fair price," he said.

It was reported earlier that Sistema acquired controlling stakes in Bashneft, Ufaneftechim , Novoil , Ufaorgsintez , Ufimsky NPZ and Bashkirnefteproduct, as well as Bashkirenergo in April this year. It made an offer to acquire remaining shares from minority shareholders, in accordance with Russian law.

Sistema is currently in the process of forming the Bashkortostan energy company assets into a vertically integrated oil company. It has transferred the function of managing the assets to Bashneft and is also creating a production subsidiary, Bashneft-Production LLC.

On October 1 Sistema announced an offer to acquire Bashneft shares from minority shareholders for 286.50 rubles each. At that price, acquisition of all 68.301 million outstanding shares would cost 19.568 billion rubles.

Bashneft shareholders have 80 days to accept the offer.

Sistema shareholders will vote on a proposal to sell the controlling stakes in the Bashkortostan energy companies to Bashneft for a total of 41.134 billion rubles at an upcoming meeting. Under the proposal, Bashneft would purchase 55.58% of shares in Ufimsky NPZ, 61.57% of Novoil, 47.18% of Ufaneftechim, 51.49% of Ufaorgsintez, and 56.11% of Bashkirnefteproduct.

"The share prices are close to the acquisition price," Melamed said earlier. Prior to the pricing the company "consulted with minority shareholders, in particular Prosperity Capital, and they had no objections," Melamed said.