Rosneft boss linked to bust oil firm chased by Latvia's Parex Bank

By bne IntelliNews March 7, 2012

Graham Stack in Moscow -

Eduard Khudainatov, CEO of Rosneft, is a beneficiary of a bankrupt Russian oil firm that owes Latvia's Parex Bank $111m, claims an investigation by business daily Vedomosti. The Baltic bank's bid to recoup its cash faces a complex web of shareholder structures.

According to three unnamed sources at Rosneft and Parex, Khudainatov, together with his brother Zhan, are the beneficiaries of Severneft, an oil company owning a licence to an oil field in the Yamal-Nenets region.

An affiliated company, Severorgsintez, took out a $111m loan from Parex Bank, which was guaranteed by Severneft and collateralized by the oil field licence. Parex - which collapsed amidst much controversy and was nationalized following a large bail out in 2008 - is trying to get the money back. However, as so often in Russia, it faces a web of complex shareholder structures.

Apparently supporting the story, 10% of Severneft is controlled by a certain Aleksei Khudainatov via a chain of subsidiaries. It is not clear whether Aleksei is a relative of Eduard Khudainatov, who was appointed CEO of Rosneft in 2010 by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin.

Following protests in December against electoral fraud and corruption, Russia's government launched a probe of links between managers in state companies and affiliated offshore commercial structures, demanding that managers disclose all assets and income. Rosneft was however exempted from the probe, which is overseen by Sechin.

In August 2011 the licence used as collateral for the loan was transferred to another Severneft subsidiary, Severnet-Urengoi, which was then bought by chemicals company Evrokhim for $403m.

Parex is not the only creditor that has been chasing Severneft to reclaim debts. In 2007, Commerzbank opened a facility for Severneft assets to the tune of $137m. Several months later, the Russian company pledged 16 trial and operational bores, as well as buildings and equipment, to the Germans.

Meanwhile, Russian bank Alba Alliance claimed the same assets pledged to Commerzbank in 2010, but sold its claim to a company called Kinson International in October for a mere $40m. Kinson promptly dropped the case, according to the report.

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