Business in Brief

Abramovich Pharma Stake



Billionaire Roman Abramovich and his partners have sold a 17 percent stake in Russian drugmaker Pharmstandard for an undisclosed price.

Abramovich and "structures affiliated with the management of Millhouse" holding company sold the stake to the majority owners of Augment Investments, Pharmstandard's main shareholder, Pharmstandard said in a statement. (Bloomberg)




X5 to Vote on $1Bln Sale



X5 Retail Group has scheduled a meeting for next month so investors can vote on a planned $1 billion share sale to fund the proposed acquisition of superstore owner Carousel Group.

An extraordinary general meeting will take place on April 21 in Amsterdam, the company said Thursday in a Regulatory News Service statement. The stock sale will take place in the first half if the takeover proceeds, according to X5, which also said separately today it borrowed $1.1 billion from banks to refinance loans. (Bloomberg)




Baikal Pulp Dumping Ends



A pulp plant controlled by billionaire Oleg Deripaska will stop dumping waste into Lake Baikal.

Baikalsk Paper and Pulp Mills, in which Deripaska's company Basic Element has a majority stake, agreed to activate a closed, internal drainage system by Sept. 15, eliminating the flow of waste water into the lake, the Natural Resources Ministry said in a statement Thursday. (Bloomberg)




Yukos Finance-Slovak Talks



The Dutch subsidiary of bankrupt Yukos said Thursday that it was continuing talks to sell a 49 percent stake in Slovak oil pipeline operator Transpetrol to the Slovak government, hoping to use the money to compensate former shareholders of the bankrupt parent company.

Bruce Misamore and David Godfrey, Yukos Finance directors, most recently met with the Slovak Economy Minister Lubomir Jahnatek in Washington on March 6, company spokeswoman Claire Davidson said.

Proceeds from the potential sale must be held in a bank account until a Dutch court allows their withdrawal. Yukos Finance hopes to use the money -- as well as the cash remaining from the sale of Lithuania's Mazeikiu refinery -- to compensate some 50,000 Russian and Western shareholders of Yukos, Davidson said. (MT)




Turkmens Buy Boeings



U.S. plane giant Boeing has won a contract from Turkmenistan Airlines for three next-generation 737 jetliners with a total list-price value of about $221 million as the country eases travel restrictions.

The state-run carrier agreed to buy two 737-900ER models and one 737-700 version to add to its all-Boeing fleet, Boeing said in a statement. (Bloomberg)




Pskov Snails to Europe



A company in the Pskov region plans to harvest edible snails, otherwise known as escargots, and begin selling them to gourmands in Europe later this year.

ProfiTur received a license to harvest 224 tons of wild snails in the area bordering Estonia, Latvia and Belarus, the regional government said late Wednesday on its web site. Workers will gather the snails from April 15 to Oct. 1, according to the statement.

"The famous European delicacy will appear on the tables of Europe this year," the Pskov regional licensing and natural resources committee said.

ProfiTur plans to process the snails in the Pskov region before shipping them to Europe. (Bloomberg)