Friedman's LetterOne promised to block Wintershall's IPO

The majority shareholder of Wintershall Dea, BASF, wants to sell its stake through an IPO, but LetterOne believes that now is not the right time for this and the listing does not make commercial sense.

Friedman's LetterOne opposed the Wintershall Dea IPO and promised to block it.

The LetterOne group of Mikhail Fridman and partners opposed the IPO of its joint oil and gas production enterprise Wintershall Dea with the German BASF, promising to block it, the Financial Times writes with reference to the company's statement.

BASF is in favor of listing, but LetterOne said it would "resist the growing pressure" to conduct an IPO now. The Group explained that the Russian component of assets causes market wariness, and this, in its opinion, may "with a high degree of probability" affect the valuation of the company, without reflecting the real potential of the business. The "pressure of stakeholders" on BASF may also hinder investments in the supply of energy available for Europe, LetterOne calculated. In addition, an IPO may limit the company's ability to invest, as well as participate in mergers and acquisitions.

"The desire for an IPO now increasingly risks distracting the company's attention from growth, as it will focus on reducing investments and maximizing free cash flow in the short term <...>," LetterOne said in a statement.

The company promised to support the listing "when it makes commercial sense."

 

BASF, in turn, confirmed to the Financial Times its intention to conduct an IPO.

The newspaper writes that LetterOne estimates its stake in Wintershall Dea (27.3%) at $5.2 billion, from which it can be concluded that the total valuation of the company is about $ 20 billion. If the IPO takes place, it could become one of the largest in Europe this year, the publication clarifies.

RBCD sent requests to the press services of LetterOne and Wintershall Dea, as well as BASF.

The fact that there are disagreements between LetterOne and BASF over the future of Wintershall Dee, FT wrote back in November. The newspaper noted that BASF wants to sell its stake through an IPO, but LetterOne plans to "build a long-term strategy."

 

Wintershall Dea was established in 2019, it is the largest independent oil and gas company in Europe. It produces in Norway, Germany, Russia, and also operates in Latin America and the Middle East.

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