Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Why Akhmetov sponsors PoR?

Today's 'Delo' business newspaper reports : "Half of power generating [in Ukraine] now under Akhmetov's heel - the state has handed over the country's biggest power-generating company to creditors.

Rinat Akhmetov has become owner of 32,2% of the biggest domestic power-generating company - DniproEnergo. The enterprise, whose main shareholder is the state, was forced to sell its shares to its most important creditors in order to avoid bankruptcy. Amongst these creditors were structures owned by Akhmetov.

On completion of this transaction, the state's portion of DniproEnergo will decrease to 50%, and, as a result of his new acquisition, Akhmetov will control almost half of the country's thermally generated power. Besides DniproEnergo, his companies already manage VostokEnergo. [DniproEnergo is estimated to be worth at almost $1.5 billion, and is one of five electricity generating companies in Ukraine - the others are VostokEnergo, CentralEnergo, ZakhidEnergo and DonetskEnergo.]

Anticipating what was about to take place, on 22nd June 2007 BYuT's press service released this :

"During the last months of its activity Cabinet does everything possible to appropriate the most attractive economic objects and concentrate them in the ownership of the closest comrades-in-arms, in particular those enterprises which provide light and warmth for the Ukrainian houses.

The bright evidence of this is the last decision of Yanukovych government, which allowed one of the biggest power companies in Ukraine, DniproEnergo, additional issue of shares. As a result, the state share will drop down from 76% to 50%. In this case, share of companies which are controlled by the known bilionnaire Akhmetov actually gives control over DniproEnergo management. Akhmetov’s companies beforehand bought up 8,8% of DniproEnergo capital, which allows them to break any meetings of shareholders and depreciates team shares by 87%.

The plan of actual theft from the national property of DniproEnergo foresees buying up of this company debts before other persons for the amount of $200 million and further exchange of these debts for 26% of DniproEnergo capital within the additional issue of shares, to which only companies controlled by Akhmetov will be admitted.
Cynicism and impudence of Cabinet actions are reflected in the fact that market value of the company makes at least $1 billion 750 million; 26% makes $455 million. Thus, in case of successful conducting of this transaction, our state loses about $500 million, and also control over one of the main power companies of Ukraine. Except for that, small stockholders, mainly workers of this company, will be deprived of their rights for the part of the company profit.

According to BYUT information, it is planned that the only buyer of 26% of DniproEnergo will be Donetsk Fuel Energy Company, [DTEK] which belongs to Renat Akhmetov.

In connection with this Yulia Tymoshenko bloc appeals to President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko with a requirement to stop immediately criminals who are selling out strategic economic objects of the state. We require to bring to trial the officials of Yanukovych government whose actions endanger power safety of Ukraine."

Its seems then that BYuT were absolutely correct in their prediction.

A more measured and detailed assessment was provided on June 21st 2007 by 'Kyiv Post'

"The arrival of DTEK as a strategic shareholder may benefit DniproEnergo by providing it with access to thermal coal and improving management, which has proved very efficient at the much more profitable DTEK-owned VostokEnergo.

But, they note DTEK is likely to try to take full control of DniproEnergo, thus reducing the likelihood of a strategic Western investor coming in.

As for the unknown owners of the remaining 15 percent of the shares, it’s unclear what price the will be able to get for them if DniproEnergo stock continues to fall.

Akhmetov, ranked as Ukraine’s richest man, has made serious efforts to improve the transparency and image of his SCM in the West, where he has courted financing to modernize his aging Soviet assets.

On the one hand, it wouldn’t be in his interests to spook investors. On the other, however, boosting his stake in DniproEnergo through a bargain deal could significantly increase the value of DTEK, yielding him the strongest position in the power-generation market in Ukraine’s highly industrialized eastern regions."

Today in Kryviy Rih, Tymoshenko again challenged this deal. "The question is why? On what basis? [And] why to Akmetov? I have many questions," she stated.

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