Major Russian fertilizer producer Fosagro holding has revealed its largest shareholder in a view of upcoming IPO. Andrey Guryev, a representative of the Murmansk Region in the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, and his family has been the owners of a controlling block of shares of the company through a trust since 2008. The ISA requires reveleang the information about the company's ownership before listing. The size of the stake which belongs to the Guryevs remain unclear. An official of Fosagro refused to comment upon the structure of the company's ownership. Guryev was unavailible for comment.
Since the end of the 1990s Andrey Guryev was responsible for development of fertilizer production business of Menatep and headed a mining and chemical department in Rosprom, the daughter company of Menatep. In 2001-2002 he chaired the board of Apatit company and was appointed to the upper chamber of Russian parliament. At that time 50% of Fosagro were sold to the company's management. Buyers and the ammount of shares each buyer got were kept in secret. In 2003 the Yukos trial began. The prosecutors believed that state-owned stake in Apatit (20% of shares) was illegally sold to private investors. Illegal privatization of Apatit was part of the indictment against Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev during their first criminal case.
In 2005, when the court heard the case of Lebedev and Khodorkovsky, Menatep sold the rest 50% of shares of Fosagro to the management, but again the details of the deal remain uncertain. The experts say that Guryev might have acquired the majority stake in Fosagro through the deals in 2002 and 2005. The production assets of Fosagro were assessed as $1.2b. Guryev’s wealth is estimated $2.1b, according to the Forbes magazine.
Menatep set up Fosagro company after merging its chemical assets — Murmansk-based Apatit, Russian monopolist in apatite production, and 2 fertilizer producers — Voskresenskiye Minudobreniya and Balakovskiye Minudobreniya, the Russian Mafia (rumafia.com) informs.
Before listing, Fosagro cost estimated $6-8b. The company might raise $480-800m by selling 8-10% of shares.