Gazprombank to buy trader Gunvor’s stake in Russian pipeline

Jun 26, 2015 12:00 AM

OAO Gazprombank will buy Gunvor Group’s stake in the Nevskaya pipeline, marking another step in the commodity trader’s plans to divest its Russian assets.

Gazprombank is purchasing Gunvor’s 50 percent interest in the Nevskaya Pipeline Co., increasing the bank’s stake to 74 percent, Ekaterina Trofimova, first vice-president of Gazprombank, said by phone. She didn’t disclose financial terms.

Gunvor last year announced plans to sell all of its physical assets in Russia after its co-founder and former shareholder Gennady Timchenko was sanctioned by the U.S. over his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Timchenko sold his 44 percent equity stake in Gunvor, one of the five-biggest independent oil traders, to partner and Swedish national Torbjorn Tornqvist the day before the Russian was sanctioned.

Nevskaya is a 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) pipe connecting a crude oil tank farm owned by OAO Transneft to a jetty on the Baltic Sea. Transneft already owns the remaining 26 percent of the pipeline after purchasing it from Gunvor in 2012.

Gunvor said in a 2013 bond prospectus that its costs related to the construction of the pipeline were $60 million. Seth Pietras, a Gunvor spokesman in Geneva, declined to comment.

Gunvor has also put its nearby Ust-Luga terminal located in the same area, 150 kilometers from St. Petersburg, up for sale and Tornqvist recently told Russian news agency Interfax that it was in advanced talks and nearing a deal for the terminal.

Gunvor said in April it had sold its 30 percent stake in Russian coal producer MC Kolmar to a company controlled by Andrei Bokarev.

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