Vallares eyes Russian deals worth £8bn

Kasmira Jefford
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TONY Hayward, the former chief executive of BP, is considering a bid for two major Russian oil producers in a deal that could be worth around £8bn.

Vallares, Hayward’s investment vehicle, has held early stage talks with Bashneft, one of Russia’s biggest oil producers, as well as Russneft, a smaller rival, City A.M understands.

Both companies are part-owned by Russian billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov’s holding company AFK Sistema, a sprawling operation with interests in some 200 companies.

Hayward is examining buying Yevtushenkov’s stakes in both companies in a move which would create one of Russia’s largest independent producers.

Bashneft is one of Russia’s top 10 oil companies with more than 1.25bn barrels of proven reserves. Yevtushenkov’s stake in the company is believed to be worth $1.5bn.

The joint-acquisition is just one of several potential takeover targets Hayward has been examining for his cash shell Vallares, which raised £1.3bn on the London Stock Exchange last month.

It also emerged last week that Vallares has been considering an offer for Genel Energy, one of the biggest oil producers in northern Iraq.

Hayward’s co-partners include the financier Nat Rothschild, who listed a similar vehicle Vallar last year.

Vallares declined to comment on the deal.

ADVISING Mechel on its potentially transformative listing on the London Stock Exchange, alongside Morgan Stanley, is Russia’s leading independent investment bank Renaissance Capital.

The bank, which specialises in deals involving firms operating in Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, has seen a flurry of action following the trend of Russian firms seeking foreign IPOs.

Renaissance was joint global coordinator on Phosagro’s $538m (£337m) flotation earlier this year, alongside Citigroup.

Equity sales director Jonathan Williams was working on the listing from Renaissance’s London offices, while the bank’s deputy chief executive in Russia, Alexander Merzlenko, was working on the float from Moscow.

The IPO valued Phosagro at $5.2bn, significantly lower than some early analyst estimates of up to $8.7bn.