Alrosa ist die staatliche Diamanten-Minengesellschaft,die bisher nicht an der Börse notiert ist,wogegen sich auch der Präsident von Sakha wendet,weil er Einbussen fürchtet.Jedoch ist es wohl so ,dass Litvenenko,als Potanin and Prokhorov 20% in Goldfields erwarben,bereits gesagt hat,dass der Staat eine goldene Aktie d.h. die Mehrheit an Norilsk Nickel haben solle.Er soll dies auch Putin eingeflüstert haben.Und es wird spekuliert,dass Potanin and Prokhorov ,die derzeit 35 % an Norilsk Nickel halten,es vorziehen statt nach Sibirien zu gehen,lieber ihren Anteil,wenn auch unter Wert zu verkaufen,Es ist die Rede von mindestens 7,5 Milliarden und Potanin and Prokhorov bliebe noch immer ihr Anteil an Goldfields und Polyus,die ja demnächst an die Börse kommen sollen.Und Alrosa könnte die 2 mIliarden von Norilsk Nickel nehmen und 5 Milliarden von internationalen Banken aufnehmen.Die russischen Zeitung „Vzglyad“ berichtete schon namentlich über Treffen mit Vertretern von Alrosa und Potanin....
Hier ist der neueste Artikel aus Moskau von mineweb:MOSCOW (Mineweb.com) --Can a $6 billion diamond-mining company, with more than a billion dollars of debt, take control of a $15 billion nickel, copper and platinum-mining company, with $2 billion in free cash and almost no debt?
"At dawn," Seneca, the Roman stoic, once remarked, "even dwarfs cast long shadows". The immediate question for the owners of Norilsk Nickel, Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prokhorov, is not how tall they are, but which way they are facing -- the dawn, or the sunset? Seneca, who was obliged to fall on his sword after giving the emperor Nero some very bad advice, failed to add that at sunset, giants cast no shadow at all. One thing is certain -- Potanin and Prokhorov, who currently hold about 51% of Norilsk Nickel, can afford to be stoical about the fate of the company they took control of for $170.1 million, if they are obliged to take $7 billion to give it up again.
Outside Alrosa, Russia's state-owned diamond-miner, and Norilsk Nickel, the largest Russian mining company, the idea of forcing the two oligarchs out is hardly a new one. A year ago, Potanin and Prokhorov felt the shadow of the Kremlin over their acquisition for $1.16 billion of a 20% stake in Gold Fields. Before that, President Vladimir Putin's advisor on natural resources, Vladimir Litvinenko, had declared that the state should recover a "golden share" in Norilsk Nickel, and thus remove Potanin and Prokhorov from control.
But Litvinenko has been silent on how he has advised Putin to achieve that goal. Litvinenko may have preferred recovering the shares by a legal proceeding that would have swapped the shares for debts the two oligarchs may owe the state. The lowest-cost method of arranging such transactions was tried in the Yukos oil company case, when the company's principal assets were taken by the state in payment of past-due tax, penalties and fines imposed after a lengthy and controversial public trial. Oligarchs like Potanin and Prokhorov are not less vulnerable than the principal Yukos shareholder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is now serving an 8-year prison term in a remote part of Siberia.
The oligarchs have signaled that they would prefer to buy their way out of trouble. Sources in Moscow have told Mineweb that a state takeover of Norilsk Nickel, with a multi-billion dollar commercial pay-out, has been in discussion for some time. Senior officials of Alrosa have not participated. Officially, Interros -- Potanin's holding company -- tells Mineweb: "I see no serious background in that. Nobody has announced anything like that, at least at our end.” At Norilsk Nickel, a spokesman said: "“I have no confirmation of these rumours."
When fear and appetite are aroused these days in Moscow, rumour has a funny way of triggering deals. In this case, investment bankers familiar with both companies have told Mineweb that the structure of a merger between Alrosa and Norilsk Nickel, resulting in the exit of the oligarchs, is not difficult to imagine. Assuming a current market value of Norilsk Nicklel of $15 billion, Potanin and Prokhorov could offer to sell for $7.5 billion. That would buy Alrosa all of Norilsk Nickel's base metal assets, plus platinum group metals, but leave Potanin and Prokhorov to walk away with the cash, plus a gold-watch -- I mean the gold asset company that includes $1.16 billion in Gold Fields shares, and the goldmines currently being managed by Polyus. Were they later to strip that for cash, or part cash and part shares in an international mining company, Potanin and Prokhorov may be calculating that the value of their exit would approach the $13.1 billion Roman Abramovich and his co-shareholders and allies are receiving for the sale of Sibneft to Gazprom. Since Abramovich has been obliged to share the payoff with a bigger circle than Potanin and Prokhorov, the latter may be vain enough to imagine that their terms may be the more lucrative.
Paying the acquisition price for merger and takeover shouldn't be difficult for Alrosa. Norilsk Nickel's $2 billion in cash would be available. This would leave a borrowing requirement of little more than $5 billion. Even without diamonds for collateral, a loan of this size should be easy to raise from the same international banks that have been eagerly funding the state takeovers of the Yukos and Sibneft oil companies. In the outcome, the Kremlin would be able to judge that for assets, for which the state received next to nothing a decade ago, the state is paying nothing at all to retrieve. Even the borrowing costs would amount to so much froth on the crest of the boom in Russian commodity exports (so long as the boom lasts).
Even if high state officials are intent on buying, and the oligarchs agreeable to selling, this deal cannot be done just yet. For one thing, Potanin and Prokhorov have yet to complete the spin-off of their gold company, and there may be an argument or two with the Kremlin over whether they should be permitted to get away with it, scot-free.
Secondly, Alrosa is not yet properly organized to be become Russia's flagship. For a year now, the Russian government has been taking the steps required to transform the shareholding structure of Alrosa into an open joint-stock company. The latest step has been to release a new, independent valuation of the company. But that has triggered internecine conflict between those who want to accelerate emission of new shares, ending more than a decade of control of the company by the Sakha region, where the diamond mines are located, and those close to the Sakha president, Vyacheslav Shtirov, who want to hang on to their cash-cow.
According to the Russian auditor, the Centre for Professional Valuation, the company is currently worth between $6 billion and $7 billion. The auditor was engaged for the task by the Federal Property Management Agency and Alrosa. The valuation is roughly 50% higher than unofficial company estimates of between $4 billion and $5 billion. According to banking sources, who have evaluated Alrosa's assets, the new estimate is not far off the mark, taking into account rising world prices for Alrosa's diamonds, as well as the company's growing output.
According to a statement issued by Alrosa in August for the first quarter to March 31, 2005, the company's assets had grown to Rb161.5 billion ($5.7 billion), up from December due to an accumulation of $375 million in cash, Liabilities at the same time were $2.7 million. Paid-up capital of the state owned company at March 31 was Rb11.5 billion ($406 million), divided into 200,000 shares at Rb57,455 ($2,030) each. 37% of the shares were held by the federal government; 32% by the Sakha republic government; 8% by districts of Sakha; and 23% by management and other individuals. A semi-legal scheme for trading Alrosa shares resulted in the transfer of about 4% to individuals favoured by a Moscow investment bank, until this was halted late in 2004. At par, that stake would be worth $16.2 million, although untradeable. If and when Alrosa were to merge with Norilsk Nickel, the stake would jump in value to $800 million.
The current share distribution is slated for restructuring, so that the federal government will hold 51%, and management will be diluted substantially. Instead of a closed joint stock company structure, whose shares cannot legally be traded or privatized, Alrosa would become an open joint stock company. Despite warnings that may cost him his job, Sakha president Shtirov is fighting to block the federal takeover.
The valuation is required in order to determine a current value for each share before the new share emission can be made, and additional assets added to the capital of the company. Alrosa sources say that the Finance Ministry, which has been in charge of the restructuring, has been considering several options for the capital accretion, including the addition of non-diamond mineral assets in the Sakha republic; the state-owned Smolensk Kristal diamond-cutting enterprise; Almazny Mir, the Moscow cutting plant; and the Prioksky Precious Metals Refinery. If the capital value of Alrosa is 50% higher than previously estimated by Finance Ministry and company experts, then the proposed additions to capital must be concomitantly greater, unless they, too, can valued upwards also.
A much cheaper way of accomplishing the same end would be for the federal government to reopen the books on the secret, semi-secret, and illegal orders ex-President Boris Yeltsin issued during the early 1990s, to set up Alrosa under the control of Sakha president Mikhail Nikolaev, and award other federally-owned resource assets to Nikolaev's administration. Declaring those concessions unlawful would enable to Finance Ministry to retrieve them, and vest them in Alrosa's expanded capital -- without the controversies and potential treasury liabilities of the valuation process.
There is no obvious sign at the moment that Alrosa's acquisition of Norilsk Nickel is being planned by the group of modest government officials who sit on Alrosa's board. However, if ambitious Kremlin strategists are looking to replace oligarch control of mining before President Vladimir Putin is due to leave office in March 2008, there is no time to lose. Freeing Alrosa from the grip of the Sakha group led by Shtirov must be done first, at the lowest possible cost to the federal treasury. But then Alrosa's value must be raised towards Norilsk Nickel's current market capitalization of $15 billion, until the gap can be bridged by the eager international banks.