Business in Brief

Vekselberg-Led OGK-1 Bid

UES board member Vladimir Avetisyan said Wednesday that a group of three or four companies led by Viktor Vekselberg's Integrated Energy Systems was being formed to buy OGK-1.

Declining to name the other investors, Avetisyan said they were among Forbes' 10 richest Russians and hadn't previously been involved in the electricity market. Alfa Group's Mikhail Fridman, Yevgeny Yevtushenkov of Sistema and Suleiman Kerimov, the owner of GNK all fit the description.

The company was expected to go to energy trader TransNeftServis-S, in cooperation with Electricite de France. "We haven't withdrawn our bid," a TransNeftServis-S spokeswoman said Wednesday. The sale was scheduled for April 17. UES said it would postpone the sale if offers were too low. (MT)

Rosneft May Up Dividends

Rosneft is mulling a "considerable increase" in 2007 dividends, chief financial officer Peter O'Brien told a conference call Wednesday.

He said he could not provide details for dividend payments until the board of directors meets this month, but he said management was considering a significant raise, Interfax reported. On Tuesday, O'Brien said Rosneft was looking for ways to refinance its outstanding debt and might partly use its strong cash flows to repay it. (Reuters, MT)

Severstal's Power Plant Talks

MILAN, Italy -- Finmeccanica, Italy's biggest defense company, said late Tuesday that it was in talks with steelmaker Severstal to form a joint venture to build power plants.

Finmeccanica is discussing a partnership with Severstal in which the Italian company would have a stake of 25 percent plus one share, CEO Pier Francesco Guarguaglini said. (Bloomberg)

Rambler Media Profitable

Rambler Media said Wednesday that it became profitable last year on the country's booming advertising market.

Rambler had net income of $6.1 million, versus a loss of $3.2 million a year earlier, Rambler said. (Bloomberg)

Nord Stream Platform

STOCKHOLM -- Nord Stream scrapped a plan to build a maintenance platform for its Baltic gas pipeline off a Swedish island because of opposition from local residents and the Swedish government.

The application to the government for the platform near the island of Gotland was withdrawn, Switzerland-based Nord Stream said. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

The Federal Service for the Inspection of Natural Resources Uses has no outstanding issues with Imperial Energy the agency's head said Wednesday, Interfax reported. (MT)

Severstal-Avto changed its name to Sollers, general director Vadim Shvetsov said at a news conference Wednesday, Interfax reported. (MT)

The government plans to allow banks to bid for $10 billion to $15 billion in budget funds to shore up lenders' liquidity, Deputy Finance Minister Dmitry Pankin said Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

Razgulyai Group may sell 70 million new shares to fund acquisitions and restructure debt, Kommersant reported Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

Cherkizovo Group said Wednesday that 2007 profit more than doubled after it bought smaller competitor Chicken Kingdom. (Bloomberg)