The SOCAR State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) may buy Antipinsky Oil Refinery together with its debts from the New Stream group. The parties have already “agreed in principle”.
For the time being, SOCAR is the main contender for the purchase of a problem asset of the New Stream group. Antipinsky Oil Refinery is experiencing financial difficulties, due to which the company was even forced to stop work in December 2018. The total debt to creditors, including Sberbank, is estimated at $ 3 billion. The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan is ready to buy out the asset for a “token amount”, but to assume its debts. Also, in the perimeter of the transaction are included the deposits of the group: Mogutovskoye, parts of the Gremyachevsky and Vorontsovsky oil fields in the Orenburg region.
Sources of publications indicate that the transaction may be closed before the end of this year. A number of interlocutors of the publication assumes that it can take place in several stages, during one of which Dmitry Mazurov, head of the New Stream, will enter the capital of the Antipinsky Oil Refinery with a minority stake. Now the structures of D. Mazurov own 80% in the Antipinsky Oil Refinery through the Cyprus Vikay Industrial, the remaining share belongs to Nikolay Egorov, who, according to the publication, has long been looking for an opportunity to get out of the asset.
SOCAR officially declares that “they regularly analyze markets, considering available investment opportunities, as for the Antipinsky Oil Refinery and fields in the Russian Federation, there is no investment decision on these projects.” In the “New Stream” and the main lender of the group Sberbank declined to comment.
Previously, among the applicants for the Antipinsky Oil Refinery and the group of fields assigned to it, the company was called LUKOIL. In February, RBC sources reported that the oil company sent its proposal to New Stream. One of the interlocutors of RBC explained that LUKOIL representatives at the end of last year came to the site of Antipinsky Oil Refinery. Another interlocutor added that German Gref, the head of Sberbank, rejected the offer to buy from NK.
“We are considering any assets on the territory of Russia, but this asset is quite complex. With that credit load, it is not interesting for us,” the head of NK Vagit Alekperov told the TASS news agency on February 14. “If it is bankrupt with all the ensuing consequences, we would consider it,” commented LUKOIL’s first vice-president, Vadim Vorobyov, in March.