Interview with Maksim Shein
Russia Today: Why do you think Basic Element is interested in Russneft?
Maksim Shein: First of all, Basic Element is buying Russneft not for itself. Probably, the company will re-sell some of the assets of Russneft or the whole company to another Russian major oil integrated company. Maybe this will be Rosneft or Gazpromneft. The Russneft assets are quite complicated. First of all, because of the huge number of small subsidiaries and, of course, for Deripaska's Basic Element it will be very hard to control these subsidiaries, because when you acquire such kind of assets it would definitely touch the question of changing management in these subsidiaries. The question is where to hire these people.
RT: So you think that this is more of a re-selling kind of thing rather then diversification of assets for Basic Element?
MS: Yes, Mr Deripaska is a businessman. And, of course, buying some assets cheaper that you can in foreseeable future, one or two years, sell for a higher price, is a good deal for him. I think he will go forward.
RT: And why Deripaska? Why not sell Russneft to anybody else?
MS: Probably that's because of money. Because of this reason that I've mentioned before, because of the large number of subsidiaries. Neither Rosneft nor Gazpromneft doesn't want to buy this headache right now.
RT: Do you think the $US 6.5 BLN that we've heard is a fair price for Russneft?
MS: Yes, it's a fair price if we bear in mind the factors. Probably, Mr Gutseriev received an offer that he couldn't refuse. And the second one is that we should bear in mind the huge amount of debt that Russneft carries right now. The number is very close to $US 5 BLN.
RT: Russneft has a lot of tax claims from the government. Do you think in case Russneft is sold to Basic Element this will go down or go up? What will change?
MS: I do believe that these tax claims will not rise. I think, for sure. But in terms whether it will go down a bit or whether they'll be gone. I don't know. It's very hard to predict right now. But probably they will be a little bit down. Or maybe the company will ask to pay out it in a longer period of time, say 10 years.