United Grain of Russia Seeks Expressions of Interest in Stake

United Grain Co., Russia’s state grain trader, was opened to interested parties today as the country sells stakes in government-controlled companies.

Troika Dialog started to collect expressions of interest in United Grain, the Moscow-based brokerage said in a website statement. Applications can be submitted until noon on March 20.

The government plans to issue additional stock and sell as much as 50 percent minus one share of United Grain before May 8, according to a presidential decree last year. The company, set up three years ago to buy cereals and ship grains abroad, will use private investment to increase grain-handling capacity at ports to 16 million metric tons a year by 2015 and silo storage to 8.4 million tons, according to United Grain data.

The trader expanded handling capacity to 4.5 million tons last year at its terminal in Novorossiysk, Russia’s main grain export hub, company data show. It had at least 1.2 million tons of storage capacity, it said in June.

Summa Group, a Russian port operator and builder, is interested in buying a stake in United Grain, Chairman Ziyavudin Magomedov said Feb 3. His brother Magomed, who owns stakes in some of Summa’s assets, entered Russia’s top 10 grain exporters this season after shipping about 300,000 tons of cereals from July 1 through February via his OOO Danton trader, Vedomosti reported.

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