Billionaire Vladimir Lisin applied twice to bid in an auction for a $4 billion stake in state-owned OAO Russian Railways’ Freight One cargo unit, to ensure the sale goes ahead, said two people with knowledge of the plans.
Two of Lisin’s companies applied to bid, as did billionaire energy trader Gennady Timchenko’s OOO Transoil and ZAO Neftetransservice, owned by Vadim and Vyacheslav Aminov, the people said, declining to be identified because of confidentiality issues.
Russian Railways is offering almost 75 percent of Freight One at a starting price of 125 billion rubles ($4 billion) in an Oct. 28 auction. Applications close today. All four bidders paid the refundable 5 billion-ruble entry fee, the people said.
The parallel applications, filed by units of Lisin’s UCL Holding transportation company, were a way to ensure the auction isn’t canceled for lack of multiple bids, the people said.
Dmitry Baukov, a spokesman for UCL Holding, confirmed the company had applied. He declined to comment on a double bid. Timchenko’s Transoil confirmed its application in an Oct. 10 statement. Natalya Dryzhak, a spokeswoman for Neftetransservice, didn’t immediately comment.
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