Sibur investor gets approval to boost stake from 25% to 50%

16 February 2011 16:55  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Russia’s anti-monopoly authorities have given permission for entrepreneur Leonid Mikhelson to boost his stake in petrochemical major Sibur from 25% to 50%, an executive involved in the investment said on Wednesday.

Pavel Malyi, president of Miracle, which was created as a holding company for Mikhelson's Sibur investment, said the stake was expected to be acquired from owner Gazprombank within the next couple of weeks.

Mikhelson is building his stake towards 100% and an eventual initial public offering (IPO).

“Late on Friday night (11 February) we got approval to close the next leg of the acquisition. This should happen within the next few days or couple of weeks at the most,” said Malyi.

Malyi said he hopes approval to boost the stake to 100% will be granted by the end of 2011.

This additional approval needs to be granted by Russia’s Commission for Strategic Assets, which is chaired by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

“There are no substantive issues,” said Malyi.

At the time of the initial sale of the stake to Mikhelson in December 2010, Gazprombank indicated that Sibur was valued at $7.5bn (€5.5bn).

When asked if it would make sense to float Sibur on the London Stock Exchange, Malyi said: “It might be logical, but none of these details have been decided. We are not in any particular rush to IPO.”

Mikhelson has said that a company of Sibur’s importance should be public.

Sibur plans to divest its non-core tyre and fertilizer businesses before considering an IPO, Sibur president Dmitry Konov added.

The Russian market for petrochemicals was expected grow by 1.5 times GDP growth per year, according to Konov.

The World Bank estimates Russian GDP growth to be 3.8% for 2010, 4.2% for 2011 and 4% for 2012.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Will Beacham
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