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Russian oil company Bashneft’s shares return to state

December 08, 2014, 9:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
This comes in line with the ruling of Moscow’s Arbitration Court in favor of the Prosecutor General’s Office that the privatization in the early 2000s of Bashneft was illegal
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© ITAR-TASS/Sergey Bobylev

MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. The shares in the Russian oil producer Bashneft, owned by tycoon Vladimir Yevtushenkov’s AFK Sistema, return to the state on Monday.

This comes in line with the ruling of Moscow’s Arbitration Court in favor of the Prosecutor General’s Office that the privatization in the early 2000s of Bashneft, which now ranks among Russia’s top-five oil refining companies, was illegal.

The defendants were private owners of the oil company — AFK Sistema of Yevtushenkov, currently under house arrest, its investment arm Sistema-invest and Bashneft proper.

Under the court ruling, which takes effect 30 days after proclamation in early November, some 81.7% of Bashneft’s shares will pass into the ownership of the state. Another 20% of shares are in free-float.

Russia’s Audit Chamber earlier said the privatization of Bashneft, which was sold to Russian conglomerate company Sistema in 2009, was “the most unprecedented case of seizing assets owned by the state.”

The investigation, which was launched following checks, produced no result in May 2010, but was resumed earlier this year. In 2013, Bashneft produced over 16 million tons of oil, earning more than $10 billion.

Following the registration with the Russian property fund Rosimushchestvo, which manages state-owned assets, the government will consider a possibility of including the oil company into the privatization program.

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