` London Listed Oil Group Reliant on Funds from one of Russia’s Largest Banks Drawn into Takeover Controversy’

#AceFinanceNews – BRITAIN – April 26 – Vince Cable the Business Secretary, has been drawn into a row about the controversial takeover of a London-listed oil group that is reliant on funds from one of Russia’s largest banks.

Sky News has seen a letter sent by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to Mr Cable warning him that the Stanlow refinery, which produces 15% of the UK’s transport fuel, is being used as collateral in a bid for Essar Energy.

Robert Hingley, an ABI director, said in the letter to Mr Cable that Essar Global, the vehicle of the billionaire Ruia brothers who want to buy the company, had failed to provide any indication of its plans for the Stanlow site in north-west England.

By highlighting the Russian provenance of the financing for the offer, the ABI’s intervention will escalate tensions over the cut-price bid by Essar Global for the 22% of Essar Energy shares it does not already own.
The Ruias listed Essar Energy in London by selling shares less than four years ago priced at six times the price they are now offering.

The cut-price offer has sparked fury from big City institutions, including Standard Life Investments, which in February described it as “cynical opportunism” and “a calculated attempt to deprive minority shareholders of the substantial future upside in Essar Energy’s valuation”.

Under stock exchange rules, because the Ruias already control a majority of the shares, they can declare their offer unconditional even if no other shareholders accept their bid.

Doing so would enable them to de-list the company without a vote, which would either force investors to accept just 70 pence -a-share or to remain shareholders in a more highly-indebted and unlisted company where they possess no influence.

The ABI special committee, which represents major City shareholders including Standard Life and Henderson, has urged Essar Global to commit to a de-listing only if a majority of the independent investors accept its offer.

The Financial Conduct Authority is changing its rules relating to de-listings but has irritated the ABI by not applying that rule-change to takeover situations.

Ace Related News:
1. April 26 – Sky News – http://tinyurl.com/l567o5u

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` Cameron comes under attack for `Sell-Out ' of Royal Mail to `Institutional Investor's ' who Sold-Out the Taxpayer '

#AceFinanceNews – BRITAIN – April 02 – Press TV – British Prime Minister David Cameron has come under pressure over the sell-off of Royal Mail, with critics accusing him of selling the firm’s stakes at a knock-down price.

On Wednesday, Cameron was questioned in the House of Commons over the handling of the sale of a 60-percent stake of the mail operator.

Ed Miliband, the opposition Labour party leader, criticized Cameron of selling the shares at an undervalued price.

“He sold at 330 pence and this morning the price was 563 pence. It is basic maths,” said Miliband, labelling Cameron the “Dunce of Downing Street.”

According to the Labour leader, the undervaluation of the 500-year-old state postal operator has cost British taxpayers £1.4 billion.

Miliband continued by saying, “A third of the shares were sold to just 16 city investors and there was a gentleman’s agreement that those city investors wouldn’t sell the shares.”

“What happened? Within weeks, half of those shares had been sold and they had made a killing worth hundreds of millions of pounds. In other words ‘mates rates’ for his (Cameron) friends in the City,” said Miliband.

Cameron responded by dismissing Miliband’s accusations with false claims that the Labour party had called for privatization of the mail operator.

This comes as Britain’s National Audit Office (NAO) released a report on April 1, criticizing the sale. The NAO said the government pressed ahead with plans to privatize Royal Mail at a price of 330 pence a share even though there had been warnings that it was undervalued.

Prior to the sell-off, banks had estimated that the government could receive up to 867 pence per share.

Press TV – CAH/AB – (Additional reporting by Belinda Goldsmith and Chris Vellacott; Editing by Jane Merriman and Pravin Char)

Ace News Services – SELL-OUT – April 02 – That Standard Life Investments said on Tuesday it had cut its stake in Royal Mail from close to 12 million shares held after it was privatised to around 118.480 shares in March.

The NAO also said the government should not have followed the advice of its financial advisers to sell the full 60 percent of shares available for sale.

It could have retained 110 million more shares worth 363 million pounds ($604 million) at the offer price, while still achieving its objective of reducing its ownership to below 50 percent, allowing it to sell another tranche for more later on.

The watchdog questioned the incentive given to the government’s independent corporate finance adviser Lazard , which was to secure a sale and was not dependent on the value achieved.

In a response, Business Secretary Cable said a sale at any cost had never been the aim.

Reports – Stated that Standard Life sold off their shares and made millions in March, meanwhile under the rules of sale the Royal Mail Postal Workers cannot sell for 3 years.

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#britain, #british-prime-minister-david-cameron, #ed-miliband, #royal-mail-house-of-commons, #standard-life, #standard-life-investments