Daily Telegraph (UK): Investors in Sibir agree fee of £15m: “However, Mr Cameron stressed that Mr Tchigirinski's fee was half the price charged by banks. He said that without the fresh funds Sibir would have had to hand its 50pc stake in the 800m barrel Salym oil fields to Shell. "We had to find $130m to meet our share of the Salym development to avoid dillution by Shell," Mr Cameron said.” (ShellNews.net) 21 Dec 04
By Christopher Hope, Business Correspondent (Filed: 21/12/2004)
Shareholders in Sibir Energy yesterday agreed to pay $29.1m (£15m) to a Russian businessman for arranging a $150m loan package which stopped the company losing control of its second Siberian oil field in a under a year.
Henry Cameron, Sibir's chief executive, said that banks were unwilling to lend competitively after Sibir lost nearly all of its 50pc stake in a venture with Russian oil company Sibneft in the Pirobskoye field in western Siberia.
Instead, Chalva Tchigirinski, Sibir's biggest investor, found the money. In return he is being paid the fee in shares, taking his stake from 42pc to 52pc, and dilluting everyone else by 3pc.
Speaking at a meeting to approve the deal, Jeremy Le Sueuer, fund manager at Church House which controls 650,000 shares, complained of not enough "justification" for the payment.
However, Mr Cameron stressed that Mr Tchigirinski's fee was half the price charged by banks.
He said that without the fresh funds Sibir would have had to hand its 50pc stake in the 800m barrel Salym oil fields to Shell. "We had to find $130m to meet our share of the Salym development to avoid dillution by Shell," Mr Cameron said.
Shares in Sibir, which have been suspended since April, are due to resume trading on the Alternative Investment Market this morning. Mr Cameron promised a rosy future for Sibir's investors telling them that turnover could jump from $250m to $1.5billion in "three to five years time".
The company's downstream business, which includes 25pc of 40 BP petrol stations in the Moscow area, is doing well. The petrol stations alone made $2m on turnover of $8.5m in November.
Mr Cameron, 65, said the year had been the toughest of his business life, adding that he had offered to quit over the loss of the stake in the Pirobskoye field, which had been held in a joint venture with Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich's Sibneft.