Unified Energy Systems to sell stake in Russia’s Power Machines

Chief Executive Anatoly Chubais said October 12 that Russian utility Unified Energy Systems (UES) plans to sell its 25 percent stake in turbine maker Power Machines to a Russian investor by the end of November.

The announcement is the latest in a series of events turning over ownership of the hydroelectric equipment builder. In September, the Interros holding company sold its 30.4 percent stake in Power Machines to Russian billionaire Alexei Mordashov, who owns steel maker Severstal.

Interros’ previous sale overtures had prompted German power industry giant Siemens to offer to buy the Interros stake. (HNN 9/6/07) Siemens, which already owns 25 percent plus one share of Power Machines, and UES, which also owns 25 percent plus a share, have the right of preferential purchase of the Interros shares.

However, Russia’s anti-monopoly body has opposed a greater Siemens stake because of national security concerns; Power Machines produces military equipment.

“Power Machines will be sold to a Russian private strategic investor in a closed tender,� Chubais said. �I am categorically against the raising of Siemens’ stake in Power Machines.”

Analysts said Mordashov’s main rival for control of Power Machines is billionaire Oleg Deripaska, whose Basic Element investment vehicle received regulatory approval to build up a stake of more than 50 percent.

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