Deripaska’s Basic Element Criticizes United Grain Sale Process

Billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s Basic Element, bidding for the Russian state’s 50 percent stake in United Grain Co., said the terms of the privatization are “non-transparent” and treat potential investors unequally.

Since bidding in March, Basic Element has received no information on the terms or qualification criteria from Troika Dialog, the bank managing the sale, it said today in a statement handed to reporters in Moscow. The sale, to be effected through a share issue, is “breaching the principles of free competition and putting investors into unequal conditions,” it said.

Companies including port operator Summa Group, agricultural producer Ros Agro Plc and billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov’s AFK Sistema applied for the tender. United Grain said in a statement on May 5 that Troika Dialog would hold talks with bidders and recommend an investor to the board by the end of the month.

A “share issue with closed subscription was recommended to us by our investment consultant Troika Dialog, which has tremendous experience in the financial markets,” United Grain said today in an e-mailed statement.

Troika Dialog couldn’t immediately comment.

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