MOSCOW, May 24 (Reuters) - Russia’s largest lender Sberbank is in talks with potential investors to sell the Antipinsky oil refinery in Siberia, CEO German Gref said on Friday, adding that he expected a sale in the near future.
The announcement came only a day after the bank said it had moved to recover debts from the refinery ahead of schedule and had received the rights for the majority of the business.
“We took over 80% of the refinery’s shares and we are now in talks with potential qualified investors,” Gref told a news conference after Sberbank’s annual shareholders meeting.
“If we are going to sell it, we will sell it only to companies that have lots of experience in this type of business.”
The Antipinsky refinery, which has a capacity of 9 million tonnes per year, said this week that it had filed for bankruptcy, weeks after a London court ordered its assets to be frozen in response to a lawsuit from a trading house.
The court order applied to the refinery’s equipment and property in the city of Tyumen, as well as petroleum products stored there and at one of its tankers in the northern port of Murmansk, among other assets.
The order also forbade the refinery from selling vacuum gas oil (VGO) to other companies without the consent of VTB Commodities Trading.
Gref also said that Sberbank had sold the debt-ridden Afipsky refinery in Russia’s southern Krasnodar region to Russian billionaire Mikhail Gutseriyev. (Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Tatiana Voronova; writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; editing by Keith Weir)