List of bidders for Kerimov's Uralkali stake narrowed to three
11:04, — Politics
The list of bidders for Suleiman Kerimov's stake in Russian potash producer Uralkali has been narrowed to three, Russia's newspaper Vedomosti reported on Monday.
The potential buyers staying in the race for Mr. Kerimov's 21.75-percent stake are banker Vladimir Kogan, tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov and an alliance of Vladimir Yevtushenkov and Mikhail Gutseriyev.
All of the Russian businesspeople have the money to buy the stake, according to the paper. Mr. Kogan, who is expected to be granted $1 billion from Arab investors for the deal, as well as Mr. Yevtushenkov, the owner of conglomerate AFK Sistema, and Mr. Gutseriyev, who owns oil company Russneft, have already secured the Kremlin's permission for the deal.
Mr. Kerimov plans to sell his stake to Mr. Prokhorov, but the latter has yet to be approved by the Kremlin as Uralkali's potential shareholder, said the report.
The stake's price is based on Uralkali's estimated value of $20 billion, the newspaper added.
On September 2, the Investigative Committee of Belarus announced that it had instituted criminal proceedings against Mr. Kerimov, 47, for abuse of power.
The case followed Uralkali’s decision to quit Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), its joint export arm with Belarusian potash giant Belaruskali.
Minsk claims that the collapse of the Belarusian-Russian potash sales cartel caused severe economic damage to Belarus.
On August 26, Belarusian authorities arrested Mr. Baumgertner, who chaired the BPC supervisory board, after he had arrived in Minsk for talks with Mikhail Myasnikovich at the invitation of the Belarusian prime minister.
The break-up of the Uralkali-Belaruskali export alliance, which controlled more than 40 percent of the world potash market, is predicted to push global potash prices down 20 percent and result for Belarus in a loss of some $890 million in export proceeds this year.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the Kremlin had made it clear to potential buyers of Mr. Kerimov's stake that sales cooperation with Belarus should be restored after any deal.