Giuseppe Sandro Mela.
Basf e Letter One stanno facendo affarucci.
Sarebbe naturale curiosità cercare di capire un pochino cosa stia succedendo.
«L1’s aim is to be a pre-eminent international investment firm. We aim to buy and build investments – in selected sectors – that stand the test of time and create value for all our partners and stakeholders.»
«We make investments in the Energy, Telecoms and Technology, Health and Retail sectors through our four main business units: L1 Energy, L1 Technology, L1 Health and L1 Retail. Our liquidity is managed by L1 Treasury.»
«We are committed to the highest level of corporate governance and standards of business practice.»
«Leadership & governance.
We are committed to ensuring the highest standards of corporate governance, business practice and ethics.
The primary goal of the Boards of Directors of Letterone Holdings S.A. (‘L1 Holdings’) and Letterone Investment Holdings S.A. (‘L1 Investment Holdings’) is to ensure the long-term success of L1 for the interest of its shareholders. L1 Holdings is the parent of the Group comprising L1 Energy, which invests in the energy sector. L1 Investment Holdings is the parent of the Group comprising L1 Technology, L1 Health, L1 Retail and L1 Treasury. Governance across L1 is now set up and functioning effectively. L1 is committed to the highest standards of governance based on the requirements set for public companies, including transparent financial reporting. In addition to maximising shareholder value, we strive to foster relationships of trust with employees, governments, suppliers, business partners and minority investors. L1 currently invests through strategic equity holdings in public and private companies.
At a corporate level, L1 operates through two Boards of Directors, each with executive, shareholder and independent Directors. The Boards are supported by their Audit & Compliance, and Nomination & Remuneration Committees. The Board of Directors of L1 Holdings is responsible for setting investment strategy and approving investment decisions for L1 Energy. The Board of Directors of L1 Investment Holdings is responsible for setting investment strategy and approving investment decisions for L1 Technology, L1 Treasury, L1 Health, and L1 Retail.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors for both L1 Holdings and L1 Investment Holdings consists of ten people: Non-Executive Chairman Lord Davies; CEO Jonathan Muir; COO David Gould; Non-Executives Wulf von Schimmelmann and Richard Burt, former US Ambassador to Germany and five shareholders, including the principal shareholder Mikhail Fridman. The Board of Directors of L1 Holdings and L1 Investment Holdings meet, at a minimum, on a quarterly basis in Luxembourg to review investment performance and to make decisions on capital allocation (including investments and divestments), strategy and budgets. The Boards also receive regular updates from the Chairmen of each Board Committee. Additional Board meetings are scheduled when time-sensitive investment and strategic decisions are required.»
Ma allora chi e cosa è mai Letter One?
«The LetterOne Group (LetterOne) is an international investment business based in Luxembourg. Its investments are focused on the telecoms, technology and energy sectors through its two main business units, L1 Energy and L1 Technology. Businessman Mikhail Fridman set up LetterOne in 2013 as part of a broader new investment vehicle using the proceeds from the sale of TNK-BP.
As of 31 December 2014 assets managed by LetterOne amounted to approximately $25bn. ….
The sources of these assets are funds from the sale of TNK-BP, but also from assets invested in prior to the L1 Group’s formation. These include VimpelCom, Turkcell and private equity investments. The company has announced plans to invest in global oil, gas, telecoms and technology sectors ….
A senior western oil executive said the UK was entering “uncharted territory” by intervening publicly in a corporate transaction over fears of the effect of future sanctions against Russia. In October 2015 LetterOne sold its North Sea Oil fields to Ineos, the chemical company, for an undisclosed sum. The Financial Times has since reported that LetterOne has been told in a letter from a senior Government official that the previous Energy Secretary’s decision to require the sale of the North Sea fields ‘is not a judgement on the suitability of LetterOne’s owners to control these or any other assets in the UK. On 14 October LetterOne Group announced that it had agreed a deal to acquire German utility Eon’s interests in three producing Norwegian fields, located in the North Sea. Norway’s oil minister said that approval would be handled ‘in the usual way» [Fonte]
Ma allora, chi mai è Mr Mikhail Fridman? Cittadino russo, ukraino ed di Israele contemporaneamente, laureato alla Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys, con un capitale personale dichiarato al fisco di 14.5 miliardi di Usd?
«Mikhail Maratovich Fridman (Russian: Михаи́л Мара́тович Фри́дман; born 21 April 1964) is a Russian business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He also holds Ukrainian and Israeli citizenship. He co-founded Alfa-Group, a multinational Russian conglomerate. According to Forbes, he is the second richest Russian as of 2017. In May 2017, he was also ranked as Russia’s most important businessman by bne IntelliNews.
In 1990 he co-founded Alfa-Bank, which is now the largest private bank in Russia. After serving as chairman of TNK-BP, the 50/50 TNK-BP joint venture, for nine years, in 2013 he sold his stake in the company and co-founded the international investment company LetterOne (L1), headquartered in Luxembourg. Fridman currently sits as chairman of the supervisory board of Alfa Group Consortium, and he is also on the boards of Alfa-Bank and ABH Holdings, which is the Luxembourg-based holding company of Alfa-Banking Group. He is also on the supervisory board of directors for VimpelCom and X5 Retail Group. He is chairman of the L1, and since DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG was bought by L1 Energy in 2015, he has been a member of its supervisory board. Fridman has been a member of numerous public facing bodies, including the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the Public Chamber of Russia, and the Council of Foreign Relations in the United States. Also a philanthropist and active supporter of cultural initiatives, he co-founded both the Russian Jewish Congress, the Genesis Prize, and the Genesis Philanthropy Group, supporting Jewish communities across the FSU.» [Fonte]
Interessante l’asettico quadretto dei rapporti con Mr Putin, che ne ha fatto Bloomberg.
«Hopes Sought and won Putin’s blessing for a $7 billion deal to create TNK-BP, an oil company jointly owned with BP plc, steering clear of politics to avoid Kremlin wrath.
Initial results TNK-BP became one of Russia’s biggest and most profitable oil companies and Fridman’s Alfa Group expanded its finance, telecom and retail businesses, making him one of the country’s richest men.
How it turned out Quite well for Fridman so far. He and his Russian partners were allowed to sell his stake in TNK-BP to the state oil company in 2013 for about $14 billion.»
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Adesso una rapida occhiata a cosa sia Basf, una società che denuncia al fisco 76.496 miliardi l’anno.
Dr. Kurt W. Bock: Chairman of Exec. Directors
Dr. Martin Bruderm: Vice Chairman of Exec. Directors & CTO
Dr. Hans-Ulrich Engel: CFO & Member of Board of Exec. Directors
Mr. Michael Heinz: Member of the Board of Exec. Directors
Mr. Wayne T. Smith: Member of Board of Exec. Directors
«With the German economic miracle in the 1950s, BASF added synthetics such as nylon to its product range. BASF developed polystyrene in the 1930s and invented Styropor in 1951. ….
Following German reunification, BASF acquired a site in Schwarzheide, eastern Germany, on 25 October 1990. It expanded to Podolsk, Russia, in 2012, and to Kazan in 2013 ….
In 1968 BASF (together with Bayer AG) bought the German coatings company Herbol. BASF completely took over the Herbol branches in Cologne and Würzburg in 1970. Under new management the renewal and expansion of the trademark continued. After an extensive reorganisation and an increasing international orientation of the coatings business Herbol became part of the new founded Deco GmbH in 1997.
In 1999 the European coatings business of BASF was taken over by AkzoNobel. On 30 May 2006, BASF bought the Engelhard Corporation for $4.8 billion. This takeover is the largest takeover in the company’s history. BASF is the world’s largest manufacturer of catalytic converters.
Other acquisitions in 2006 were the purchase of Johnson Polymer and the construction chemicals business of Degussa.
The acquisition of Johnson Polymer was completed on 1 July 2006. The purchase price was $470 million on a cash and debt-free basis. It provided BASF with a range of water-based resins that complements its portfolio of high solids and UV resins for the coatings and paints industry and strengthened the company’s market presence, particularly in North America.
Also on 1 July 2006 the acquisition of the construction chemicals business of Degussa AG was completed. The purchase price for equity was just under €2.2 billion. In addition, the transaction was associated with debt of €500 million.
The company agreed to acquire Ciba (formerly part of Ciba-Geigy) in September 2008. The proposed deal was reviewed by the European Commissioner for Competition. On 9 April 2009, the acquisition was officially completed.
On 19 December 2008, BASF acquired U.S.-based Whitmire Micro-Gen together with U.K.-based Sorex Ltd, Widnes, Great Britain. Sorex is a manufacturer of branded chemical and non-chemical products for professional pest management. In March 2007 Sorex was put up for sale with a price tag of about £100 million.
In May 2015, BASF agreed to sell parts of its pharmaceutical ingredients business to Swiss drug manufacturer Siegfried Holding for a fee of €270 million, including assumed debt.
In October 2017, BASF announced it would buy the seed and herbicide businesses from Bayer for €5.9 billion ($7 billion)» [Fonte]
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Ora abbiamo qualche elemento per comprendere meglio cosa sia successo.
L’asse energetico tra Germania e Russia potrebbe rafforzarsi ulteriormente, con la creazione di una joint venture del valore di circa 15 miliardi di euro nel settore degli idrocarburi. Il gruppo tedesco Basf, colosso globale della chimica, ha confermato di essere in trattative con Letter One, holding del miliardario russo Mikhail Fridman, per una potenziale fusione tra la sua controllata Wintershall e «le attività nel petrolio e nel gas riunite nel gruppo Dea»: in pratica, i giacimenti che lo stesso Friedman, oligarca vicino al Cremlino, aveva rilevato nel 2015 da un’altra società tedesca, la Rwe.
L’operazione all’epoca aveva sollevato un’aspra querelle con Londra, che – in nome della sicurezza energetica nazionale – aveva imposto ai russi di cedere gli interessi nelle acque britanniche del Mare del Nord. Pochi mesi dopo Friedman si era rifatto, acquistando altre licenze nella stessa area (ma sotto giurisdizione norvegese) da E.On, anch’essa tedesca.
L’esito delle attuali trattative è «aperto» e «non c’è alcuna garanzia» che la fusione avvenga davvero,ha precisato Basf dopo i rumor pubblicati da Bloomberg, secondo cui l’accordo potrebbe arrivare «nei prossimi giorni o settimane».
Qualche paletto comunque è già stato fissato: il gruppo di Ludwigshafen nel comunicato afferma che conserverebbe una quota di maggioranza nella joint venture e che c’è «un’opzione nel medio termine» per quotare quest’ultima in Borsa.
Anche Letter One conferma il negoziato con Basf, suggerendo però uno spettro più ampio: il merger, secondo la nota della holding, riguarderebbe «le attività nell’Oil & Gas, che comprendono il gruppo Dea».
Si tratterebbe insomma di tutti gli asset di L1 Energy, la business unit che Fridman aveva creato due anni fa con l’intento di costruire dal nulla una nuova Major petrolifera, sfruttando la fase di debolezza del mercato per fare acquisizioni a basso prezzo.
Sotto la guida di Lord John Brown, ex ceo di Bp, L1Energy è cresciuta in fretta, focalizzandosi su Germania, Norvegia, Danimarca, Egitto e Algeria, con un’aspirazione a rafforzarsi in Messico e Brasile.
Il “salvadanaio” di Letter One, che investe anche in altri settori, proviene del resto proprio dal petrolio: Fridman l’aveva fondata nel 2013 con 14 miliardi di dollari incassati grazie alla cessione a Rosneft di Tnk-Bp, di cui era stato socio e presidente.
Il magnate russo adesso sembra disposto a fare un passo indietro, lasciando ai tedeschi il controllo della potenziale joint venture: una mossa che potrebbe denotare sfiducia nei confronti del futuro dell’industria petrolifera.
Anche per Basf Wintershall – un tempo complementare alla produzione petrolchimica – è divenuta meno interessante, ora che il gruppo ha allargato i suoi orizzonti con diverse acquisizioni, compresa quella da 6 miliardi di euro con cui a ottobre ha rilevato da Bayer per 5,9 miliardi di euro di attività nei semi Ogm e nei pesticidi.
Wintershall due anni fa ha ceduto a Gazprom depositi di stoccaggio e reti di distribuzione del gas, ricevendo in cambio una quota del maxigiacimento siberiano di Urengoy, ed è tra le società che stanno finanziando insieme al gruppo russo la costruzione del Nord Stream 2.
Con le recenti operazioni il suo peso nel bilancio di Basf è diminuito: nell’esercizio 2016 Wintershall ha contribuito per circa l’8% al risultato operativo del gruppo (con 500 milioni di euro di Ebit), contro il 20% del 2015. Tuttora ha comunque un valore stimabile tra 10 e 12 miliardi di euro secondo gli analisti di Raymond James.
L’ultimo resoconto di Letter One, indica che a fine 2016 L1 Energy aveva in portafoglio asset per 3,8 miliardi di dollari, ossia 3,2 miliardi di euro.
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Un’unica nota finale.
Sia Letter One, sia Basf non hanno femmine nei loro cda: lavorano in santa pace, tenendo e valorizzando chi rende, licenziando chi non fosse alla altezza. Solo assunzioni in quota meriti comprovati.
Non solo, ma a quanto si dice, Mr Fridman non disdegna il sesso muliebre, con cui sarebbe davvero molto esplicito, e, si direbbe, altrettanto ben ricambiato.