Russia Approves Novorossiysk Port’s Ownership Division

Russia’s government has agreed to a plan to divide the country’s largest port operator, OAO Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port, between its two controlling shareholders to end a battle that has stalled spending on oil terminals, according to two people with knowledge of the deal.

The Federal Property Management Agency requested President Vladimir Putin to approve the proposal to split off the port group’s oil terminals to state-run pipeline operator OAO Transneft. Businessman Ziyavudin Magomedov’s Summa Group would gain control over the port group’s remaining business.

NCSP Group, which handles about 33% of Russia’s crude exports, has been unable to approve investments to expand its oil division during the more than yearlong shareholder conflict. Russia depends on oil and gas for half of the government’s revenue.

Transneft and Summa together control 50.1 percent of NCSP through their jointly owned Novoport Holding Ltd. Transneft will receive the oil-loading facilities, including the Primorsk port on the Baltic Sea and Sheskharis terminal at Novorossiysk on the Black Sea, while Summa will buy Transneft’s stake in NCSP, which will keep the non-oil assets.

It has been said that after the deal, Summa will control 60 percent of the port operator.

As the Vedomosti newspaper reported earlier this year, the property agency proposed that NCSP pay out a special dividend before the deal to benefit minority shareholders.

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