Liquidation ‘only option’ - resigning Yukos chief

Yukos President Steven Theede resigned, as Yukos managers affirmed the company was solvent at a creditors’ meeting in Moscow.

Court-appointed supervisor Eduard Rebgun disagreed. He told creditors the Yukos debt exceeded $17.5 billion and that the company was valued at only about $16.7 billion. Liquidation was the only option and there was no chance for a restructuring of the company, Rebgun said. Yukos managers called his appraisal inaccurate and believed the company was worth $30 billion. The creditors’ meeting was adjourned until July 25. Theede was due to present a plan for the company’s financial restructuring, but refused to join a process he called “a sham” which would lead to a Yukos breakup. In his resignation letter, Theede said there was nothing more he could do to benefit the company and that the British court decision to allow the Rosneft IPO to proceed meant he had done all he could to preserve the company’s value. Part of the restructuring plan involved selling a 20 per cent Yukos stake in Gazpromneft, formerly Sibneft. Russian media reports suggested Gazprom wanted to take the stake at a discount, with Yukos currently valuing it at about $4.2 billion dollars. If an agreement is reached, terms will be subject to approval by the Yukos court-appointed supervisor. Yukos is thought to owe more than $13 billion dollars to federal tax authorities and more than $4 billion to former subsidiary Yugansneftegaz, now part of Rosneft.