Dzhaparidze accused of forced cut-rate Eurasia Drilling sale

Alexander DzhaparidzeForeign minority shareholders in Russian oil services firm Eurasia Drilling – including Fidelity Management Genesis Investment and Raiffeisen – are accusing Russian billionaire Alexander Dzhaparidze and his management team of forcing them to sell their stakes at below the market rate.
The accusation follows yesterday’s announcement from the company’s managers and domestic shareholders that they were buying out Eurasia Drilling and taking it private for $10 per share – less than 10 days after a $22-per-share takeover bid for the company by the US oil services firm Schlumberger collapsed because Russian regulators failed to approve the deal.
A source close to the company said the new buyers were an all-Russian group led by Alexander Dzhaparidze, the company’s billionaire founder and CEO, who already owns 30% of the firm. Dzhaparidze had not publicly commented on the proposal Thursday. If the deal goes through, Eurasia Drilling will be repatriated and delisted from the London Stock Exchange — something the government recommended companies to do in the interests of “economic security” following its clash with the West over Ukraine last year.
“Trying to take a company private at a discount to the market price may be a world first,” said one of the investors who wished to remain anonymous. “Dzhaparidze and his fellow controlling shareholders have made an audacious bid to secure their place in the Russian corporate governance Hall of Shame.” the investment fund source said.