NOVOSIBIRSK, November 29 (RIA Novosti) – Rail monopoly Russian Railways (RZD) has signed a $1.6 billion deal with billionaire Vladimir Lisin’s Independent Transport Company, the holder of 75 percent of rail cargo operator Freight One, to sell the remaining 25 percent stake in the firm, RZD CEO Vladimir Yakunin said on Thursday.
RZD’s board of directors approved the deal on Tuesday.
“Yesterday, after the decision by the board of directors, which summed up the results of the tender [for the remaining blocking stake in Freight One], we plan to get 50 billion rubles [$1.6 billion] and I have signed a corresponding contract,” Yakunin said.
Independent Transport Company bought 75 percent minus two shares in Freight One Co. from Russian Railways at an auction in late 2011 for 125.5 billion rubles ($4.2 billion).
Yakunin said in spring Lisin had offered to repurchase the remaining blocking stake from the rail monopoly, adding he supported this offer.
Russian Railways chose Independent Transport Company as the buyer for Freight One in a tender held in October 2012. Lisin’s structure offered 50 billion rubles for the blocking stake.
AFK Sistema, one of Russia’s largest diversified holding companies, was denied participation in the tender.
Lisin, the owner of Novolipetsk Steel firm, ranks second in the 2012 Forbes List of Russia’s Richest Businessmen with a fortune of $15.9 billion.