Russian Railways sold 50% + 2 shares in TransContainer in an auction held on November 27 to Sergey Shishkarev-led Delo Group. The start price was 36.2 billion rubles ($566.3 million). Delo offered 60.3 billion rubles ($944.5 million) for the package.
Other contenders were Yenisey Capital controlled by Evraz beneficiaries Roman Abramovich and Alexander Abramov, which holds 24.74% in TransContainer, and Cargo One, part of the holding controlled by Vladimir Lisin, the beneficiary of the Novolipetsk Metalworks.
The RF Government approved a directive to sell the RZD-controlled share in TransContainer in April this year. It stipulated that bidders could be companies controlled by Russian citizens, not affiliated with federal, regional or local authorities, with no losses recorded in 2018 and not controlled by shipping lines.
Also, the requirement was that the bidders should own either no less than 20% in TransContainer, or no fewer than 5 thousand railcars, or a container terminal with a capacity of no less than 50,000 TEU as of 2018.
One more condition was, the buyer undertakes not to sell the share in TransContainer or in its own capital stock during two years since after the deal is concluded, otherwise a penalty amounting to 25% of the deal cost is to be paid.
Another obligation is to fulfill the transportation plan set by TransContainer’s strategy during the year when the deal is made and the two consequent years.
According to Andrey Starkov, Deputy CEO of Russian Railways, the company intends to invest the proceeds into its long-term development program until 2025.
Sergey Shishkarev, President of Delo Group, said that the group’s presence in three basins in terms of terminal business and the acquisition of the leading Russian railway container operator will enable Delo to become a national transport logistics integrator.
The Group intends to finance the deal from a loan provided by Sberbank and from its own money.