The Sankt Petersburg-based company Garcia is buying the 46,65 percent stake in the port from the companies Laterium Commercial Limited and Specialized Project Investments. The two companies, which are believed to be owned by Nikolai Yegorov and Soslan Khorebov, have until now controlled respectively 12,68 and 34,97 percent of the port.
As BarentsObserver previously reported, several powerful groups, among them structures belonging to Oleg Deripaska and Gennady Timchenko, were believed to bid for the important port, the biggest in the world north of the Arctic Circle.
However, it is not clear whether some of these structures are involved in the acquisition or not. According to Gazeta.ru, the Garcia company was established in July 2011 with a founding capital of 10000 RUB . The registered owner of the company is a man with the name Andrey Uchitel. However, he rejects any link with Deripaska or Timchenko.
Speculations are now running high in Murmansk about who is behind the deal. According to not confirmed information from the Moscow Post, Gennady Timchenko is afterall the man behind Garcia.
The sale of the shares was made in an auction organized by the Russian Federal Property Agency (Rosimushchestvo) this week. The starting price for bidders was 7.5 billion RUB, Gazeta.ru reports.
The Port of Murmansk is one of Russia’s biggest coal ports. It is also a key unit in the rapidly growing Arctic shipping, as well as the plans for regional hydrocarbon field development, and handles significant volumes of mineral ore, metals and oil products.
The port was in 2010 granted status as special economic port zone, something which is expected to boost its popularity among investors. The enhanced port status is also believed to help prepare the ground for the major upcoming developments linked with the Shtokman gas project in the Barents Sea.
A step-by-step increase up to SEK 5,5 billion will be added to the annual defense budget following the Ukraine crisis. The cash will partly come by cutting spending on environment and nuclear safety cooperation with Russia.
The president warns against hostile action and terrorism in the Arctic and says regional oil installations must be protected. At the same time, he signs a law, empowering oil companies to establish their own armed forces.
MURMANSK: Ecological groups gathered on Kola Peninsula fear that Barents nature will be the looser after Oslo decided to call off the environmental minister’s Moscow meeting in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
TROMSØ: Since the first five specimens of snow crab were found in the Barents Sea in 1996, the population has exploded. There is now ten times as much snow crab than king crab in the area, and scientists are just starting to find out how this new species has adopted to life in the Barents Sea.
More than 900 reindeer die of hunger on the Russian Arctic island of Kolguyev following a critical lack of available local pasturelands. The reindeer stocks in the area are too badly managed, regional authorities admit.
Three days processing of visa-applications is history. “Always apply at least 15 days prior to scheduled departure. Our processing time is 10 days,” says Marit Egholm Jacobsen, head of the visa section at Norway’s Consulate General in Murmansk.
Board member Amund Trellevik in the press network fears entry-denial of Kremlin’s controversial propaganda-journalist Dmitry Kiselyov could be retaliated by refusing Norwegian journalists access to Russia.