MOSCOW, January 12. /TASS/. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is in talks on attracting new investors to purchase preferred shares of Russian oil pipeline operator Transneft, First Vice President of the company Maxim Grishanin told reporters.
"There are investors from Japan, we are waiting for Singapore, China. RDIF is holding talks with the Chinese," he said.
The Russian-Japanese investment fund, established by RDIF and the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has already invested in Transneft. Reportedly, the investments may amount up to about $150 mln.
Head of RDIF Kirill Dmitriev said earlier that the fund and other minority shareholders of Transneft are discussing with the government converting preference shares into ordinary ones. According to the fund, this will significantly increase the value and liquidity of the shares. In addition, the conversion will provide the basis for a fair market evaluation of the equity value of the entire company.
The Russian government owns 100% of the ordinary shares of Transneft (78.1% of the company's share capital) via the Federal Property Agency. The second part of the authorized capital - 21.9% - is represented by preference shares. In spring, 1.1 million preference shares (71%) were sold on the Moscow Exchange for almost 170 bln rubles ($3 bln).
Later it became known that the shares were sold by Ilya Shcherbovich’s UCP fund. The new owners of the preference shares of Transneft are: Gazprombank-Asset Management, which owns 53.57%, 14.85% is held by Gazfond pension savings fund, 1.49% is held by the Russian-Chinese investment fund (joint venture RDIF and Chinese CIC). RDIF separately owns 0.43%, while the remaining 29.66% of the preference shares are in free float.