23 Sep 2009 19:25

Moscow mayor, Gazprom Neft sign memorandum on joint management of Sibir Energy

MOSCOW. Sept 23 (Interfax) - Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov and Gazprom Neft President Alexander Dyukov have signed a memorandum on the joint management of Sibir Energy, an Interfax correspondent reported from the signing ceremony.

"We have been working on this document for a long time. Sibir Energy is now a company that will be managed by a company with state ownership, Gazprom Neft, with the Moscow government's participation. We intend to develop production and refining at the Moscow Oil Refinery and sell petroleum products. It will be a unique complex and our goal is to make it modern and to realize its potential," Luzhkov said.

Dyukov thanked Luzhkov for the city's constructive cooperation as part of the Sibir Energy deal. "All the plans for Sibir Energy's development will be realized," he said.

The Moscow authorities plans to acquire a blocking stake in Sibir Energy next year, Vladimir Silkin, head of the city's property and land relations department, told Interfax.

"Gazprom Neft is not fundamentally opposed to an increase in the city's interest in Sibir Energy to a blocking stake," he said. At present, Moscow owns 18.9% of the company via affiliates, he said.

In the future, Sibir Energy shares "will not be traded. The company will cease to be public," he said.

Moscow will buy the Sibir Energy shares from Gazprom Neft, he said. Gazprom Neft is not likely to sell the shares at a price lower than what it paid, he said. Gazprom Neft previously acquired Sibir Energy stock at a price of 5 pounds sterling per share.

It was reported that Sibir Energy formed a new board of directors in August, including two Gazprom Neft representatives (Vadim Yakovlev and Igor Tsibelman), one from the city government (Central Fuel Company head Dmitry Bekker) and two independent directors (Maxim Viktorov and Andrei Martianov).

Gazprom Neft consolidated a 55% stake in Sibir Energy in April-June. However, unofficial reports indicate it directly or indirectly controls about 81% of shares, including rights to businessman Ruslan Baisarov's stake.

The Moscow city government controls just over 19% of Sibir Energy shares. Deputy Mayor Vladimir Silkin previously said that the city might claim a blocking stake in Sibir Energy.