CIS: Raiffeisen looks to sell stake in RosUkrEnergo
An IPO is one way to head off fallout from the region’s gas dispute.
|Russia’s president Vladimir Putin finally came to an agreement over the gas dispute with Naftogaz’s Oleksiy Ivchenko in January
Raiffeisen officials have said they are concerned about the publicity risk attached to RosUkrEnergo, the opaque company that found itself at the centre of the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine at the beginning of the year. They are planning an exit route via an IPO this year. RosUkrEnergo is an intermediary between Gazprom and Naftogaz Ukraine. It is 50% owned by Gazprom and 50% by Raiffeisen Investment AG (Riag). Raiffeisen says it is just the nominal owner for Russian and Ukrainian business interests.
Who those shareholders are has been a subject of hot speculation since the middle of last year, when then Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Timoshenko launched a campaign against RosUkrEnergo, claiming that the shareholders were not only Russian president Vladimir Putin and ex-Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, but also Semyon Mogilevich, who is wanted by Interpol and the FBI for money laundering.
The Ukrainian Security Service, run by an ally of Timoshenko’s, began an investigation into the company, which failed to uncover much.