Russian A1 to sell 49% of Russian Standard Bank after legal battle ends, CEO says


The Russian Standard Bank logo is displayed outside its branch in Moscow, Russia on June 7, 2016. REUTERS / Sergei Karpukhin

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MOSCOW, December 6 (Reuters) – Russian investment firm A1 has bought defaulted Eurobonds secured by a 49% stake in Russian Standard Bank, considering selling that stake as one of the possible options once the legal battle over, said the chief executive of A1. said Monday.

Russian Standard Ltd, which is linked to businessman Rustam Tariko, owner of Russian Standard Bank and founder of Russian Standard Vodka, defaulted on a Eurobond coupon payment due in October 2017.

The bond was secured by a 49% stake in Russian Standard Bank, one of Russia’s largest private banks, and bondholders were trying to get their hands on that stake to sell it later in order to recover. at least part of their investments.

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A1, part of the retail banking conglomerate Alfa Group, one of Russia’s leading private business empires, bought a controlling stake in the defaulting euro-bond of Russian Standard Ltd from its western holders in October, A1 CEO Andrei Elinson told reporters.

The deal is expected to give A1 better leverage in Russian courts because “there is no risk that the bank as a strategic entity could come under foreign control,” he said, while Moscow has tightened the rules for the operations of Western companies since the 2014 sanctions.

A1 has an agreement with two major Russian banks, one of which is state-controlled, either to transfer the 49% stake in the lender to the management of one of the banks or to sell it once the battle is over. legal over, Elinson said.

“We hope that next year we get the 49% of the Russian (bank) standard – we have enough control over the banknotes to speak for the majority of bondholders,” he said.

Russian Standard Ltd did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

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Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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