Summa to Buy United Grain Stake With 5.95 Billion-Ruble Bid

Summa Group, Russia’s biggest port operator, will acquire almost half of state grain trader United Grain Co. for 5.95 billion rubles ($186 million) as the government dilutes its stake.

United Grain accepted bids for 3.51 million new shares, equivalent to 50 percent minus one share of its equity following the additional stock issue and sale, it said today in a statement.

The grain trader, set up three years ago to conduct state purchases, develop export infrastructure and ship grain abroad, will use the investment to raise handling capacity at ports to 16 million metric tons a year by 2015 and silo storage to 8.4 million tons, according to company data. Russia is poised to become the third-biggest grain exporter in the season ending in June following a shipment ban last year because of a drought.

“We will take the necessary steps to strengthen our management team, adding new competencies, including experience in global grain trading,” Alexander Vinokurov, president of Summa Group, said today. “United Grain has the means to become a world leader in grain trading.”

The company owns at least 1.2 million tons of silo capacity and controls a terminal with capacity of 4.5 million tons a year at the Novorossiysk harbor on the Black Sea. It plans to invest about 17 billion rubles from 2011 through 2013 to expand port handling capacity and silo storage, company data show.

United Grain also attracted a bid from Vadim Moshkovich’s agricultural producer Ros Agro Plc, which offered almost 5.73 billion rubles for the stake, according to today’s statement.

On May 21, United Grain said its stock was valued at 5.4 billion rubles, citing an appraisal report.

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