Arkadiy Abramovich, the 17-year-old son of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, is seeking to snap up oil and gas assets in Russia and the former Soviet Union, potentially making a purchase early next year.
Arkadiy’s Zoltav Resources Inc. (ZOL) is searching in areas where an acquisition could be used as a “building block,” Symon Drake-Brockman, executive chairman of the London-listed company, said in a telephone interview. While there’s no set timeframe, deals may come as soon as six months from now, he said.
The billionaire’s son is following his father’s lead in investing in natural resources, Russia’s biggest export earner. Roman Abramovich, former governor of Chukotka region in Russia’s Far East, has invested in Evraz Group SA and Highland Gold Mining Ltd., and sold his stake in oil producer OAO Sibneft to state-controlled OAO Gazprom for $13.1 billion in 2005.
“We have the fortunate position of a strong shareholder that has a deep understanding,” Drake-Brockman said yesterday.
Arkadiy’s ARA Capital Ltd. investment vehicle increased its holding in Zoltav, formerly known as Crosby Asset Management, to 40 percent this month, according to a regulatory statement. Zoltav installed a new management team including Drake-Brockman, former head of capital markets at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, and former Marathon Oil Corp. executive Steven Lowden.
The company’s management has already held talks about possible acquisition targets, Drake-Brockman said, without elaborating. So far, his discussions have been exclusively with Arkadiy who, to the best of his knowledge, is acting independently of his father, the chairman said.
Zoltav rose 4 percent to 3.25 pence at the 4:30 p.m. close in London, giving the company a market value of 12.2 million pounds ($19.8 million).