The Return of Igor Makarov. The once-influential founder of Itera has joined New Stream

Four years ago, Makarov’s Itera sold its gas business to Rosneft for $2.9 billion. The group was renamed Arechi and had no major assets in Russia

Billionaire Igor Makarov #40, who sold his gas assets to Rosneft for $2.9 billion in 2013, is returning to major energy projects in Russia. His group of companies “Areti” buys 50% of the group “New Stream” (New Stream) Dmitry Mazurov. The amount of the deal is not disclosed.

This was reported on Monday, October 2, by the Kommersant newspaper with reference to the informed sources. The press service of New Stream confirmed to Forbes that Mazurov and Makarov would jointly own and manage a group of companies that owns Antipinsky (Tyumen Region) and Mariysky refineries, producing assets in the Orenburg Region and a bitumen production facility in the Nizhny Novgorod Region.

It is expected that Makarov will head the board of directors of Novy Potok and replace Vladimir Kalashnikov in this position. Makarov will be in charge of strategy and international activity of the group of companies. Mazurov will continue to be in charge of Noviy Potok’s operational management. According to the press service of Noviy Potok, the partners plan to optimize their debt (the company reports it reaches $2.5 billion) and consider “new strategic acquisitions”.

Former Itera owner Makarov has not invested in oil and gas assets in Russia for several years. According to Alexander Kornilov, an oil and gas analyst at Aton, there have been few interesting offers in the fuel and energy sector in recent years. The billionaire’s interest in the Novy Stream business can now be explained by the fact that independent refining is going through bad times in Russia. “In terms of entering it, this asset is far from being the most expensive,” the analyst said.

The valuation of this business, according to him, is close to its bottom, given that in recent years Russia has been implementing a tax maneuver, which was, among other things, aimed at squeezing the least efficient processing facilities out of the industry. Kornilov explained that against the background of the bad situation in oil refining, the worst off are those refineries that have low efficiency and a fairly high yield of dark petroleum products. “Therefore there is an opportunity to enter cheaply and then invest in the expectation that the yield of light petroleum products will increase, the economy of the refinery will become significantly better and the investment will pay off,” he said. The analyst did not venture to estimate the amount of the deal.

Dmitriy Mazurov’s group of companies Novy Potok was established in 2002 in Tyumen. Novy Potok was 32nd by the earnings (206.9 billion rubles) in the 200 largest Russian private companies rating of 2007 according to Forbes. “Novy Potok is engaged in oil refining at Antipinsky Refinery in Tyumen Region and Mariysky Refinery in the Republic of Mari El, developing fields in Orenburg Region and bitumen production in Nizhny Novgorod Region. The group is also engaged in transportation and sales of petroleum products in the international and domestic markets as well as engineering and construction.

The majority owner of Antipinsky Oil Refinery is Dmitriy Mazurov (80%), another 20% belongs to a lawyer Nikolai Egorov, a fellow student of President Vladimir Putin.

Igor Makarov’s company Itera was involved in reselling Turkmen gas in the late 1990s. After Rem Vyakhirev resigned from Gazprom in 2001, the company lost its big export contracts. Itera retained stakes in several gas production and trading companies.

In 2012, Rosneft and Itera signed an agreement on strategic cooperation for joint exploration and development of gas fields in Russia. At that time, the basis of the joint venture, where Rosneft owned 51% of Itera, included gas fields (49% of Sibneftegas, 49% of Purgaz, 67% in Uralsevergaz-NGK and some other Itera assets, and Rosneft-owned gas fields of the Kynsko-Chaselskaya group.

In 2013, Rosneft acquired the remaining 49% stake in the oil and gas company Itera for $2.9 billion, $1.8 billion of which went to Makarov. After the sale of his gas assets to Rosneft, Makarov gave the company a new name, reversing the word “Itera” – the company became known as “Areti.

In December 2015, it was reported that Makarov, the former owner of Itera, had decided to return to the gas business. As Kommersant newspaper reported at the time, Areti planned to buy half of businessman Yevgeny Vdovin’s Gasoil company, which owns a network of gas filling stations and shares in gas distribution companies in the Altai Territory, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk and Chita Regions, as well as in Buryatia. The agreement, under which Areti received a pre-emptive right to purchase the asset, was concluded in April 2015.┬áThe final decision on the deal was to be made in early 2016 based on the results of due diligence.

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