Russian investor given rubber stamp for full Sibur takeover

27 September 2011 16:45  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Russian entrepreneur Leonard Mikhelson has received official permission to proceed with a full takeover of petrochemical major Sibur, a company official said on Tuesday.

Mikhelson, who already owns a 50.2% stake in Sibur, has now had his plans rubber-stamped by the country's federal anti-monopoly authority, the official told ICIS.

The billionaire, who is CEO of Russian gas producer Novatek, said previously that he plans to take Sibur through an initial public offering (IPO) within the next two years. The official confirmed that these plans remain unchanged.

However she declined to give a timetable for Mikhelson's purchase of the remaining Sibur shares from Russia’s Gazprombank.

In February authorities gave permission for Mikhelson to boost his stake in Sibur from 25% to 50.2%.

At the time of the initial sale of the stake to Mikhelson in December 2010, Gazprombank indicated that Sibur was valued at $7.5bn (€5.55bn).

Sibur has been busy preparing for the IPO by disposing of non-core assets in tyre manufacture and expanding core petrochemical and polymers operations in recent months.

In September, it concluded an agreement to invest in raising the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) capacity of the country’s major producer Polyef.

In July, Sibur acquired Acrylate, the only Russian producer of acrylic acid (AA) and acrylic esters. In the same month, it also agreed to transfer tyre-producing assets to a joint venture being formed by Italy’s Pirelli and state-run Russian Technologies.

In June, the company completed a series of loan agreements worth €750m to finance construction of a new 330,000 tonne/year PVC plant through joint venture RusVinyl.

Sibur is also developing plans to build a new steam cracker and polyolefins complex in Tobolsk in western Siberia. The project is due to come onstream after 2015.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Will Beacham
+44 20 8652 3214

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