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FAS Allowed Evraz to Acquire Share in Timir Project from ALROSA

27 july 2012

Yesterday the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) granted a request of Evraz plc dated 20 June 2012 in respect of acquisition of 51% voting shares in OJSC MMP Timir, Kommersant newspaper reported citing a statement by the agency.
The parties signed joint venture agreement on development of iron-ore deposit located in South Yakutia in September 2011, and ALROSA was to retain 49% share in the project. Evraz and ALROSA expected to close the deal in the first quarter of 2012 but the government protracted issuing appropriate directive required for its conclusion.
Meanwhile, Kommersant were reported that the strategic investor in this deal could face emergence of substantial encumbrance – the bureaucrats insist on reorganization of Yakutian open joint-stock company Timir to closed joint-stock company and subsequent inclusion of Vnesheconombank (VEB) to the shareholder structure with one share owned in Timir project. This scheme will enable the state corporation to get preemptive right in respect of Evraz’s share should the latter put it for sale.
A source close to the deal told Kommersant, that government officials beware of the scenario whereby Evraz Group enters the project with the view of expansion of capitalization and would like to resell its share to foreigners afterwards.
“We were looking for a solution to prevent this scenario. Last time all the stakeholders gathered at the beginning of June at the meeting with First Vice Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, and then the new option of the deal was voiced,” the source claimed.
“Ministry of Economic Development insists on this scheme of the transaction. Evraz used to oppose it a long while and was offering alternatives including issuing appropriate warranties subject to laws of England, but this suggestion was rejected, together with another option, namely to make VEB a party to shareholder agreement on Timir project – Igor Shuvalov agreed that this would result in complicating the transaction,” the source added.
A source close to the deal noted that amount of the transaction is 4.95 billion rubles, based on evaluation of 100% shares in OJSC MMP Timir at 9.705 billion rubles, which corresponds to the current book value.
None of the parties disclosed any details officially.
“We are interested in engaging a strategic investor specialized in iron ore mining to the project,” – official representative of ALROSA said yesterday.
Meanwhile, VEB declined to comment on the reports.