Abyzov Joins Race for UES Engineering Assets

Engineering company E4 Group said Tuesday it would join the race for Unified Energy System's engineering assets at auction next month.

Six regional divisions of UES' Engineering Center, a major provider of engineering services to the country's electricity sector for 80 years, are to be auctioned off on May 20, and the remaining two divisions will be sold the next day.

The eight divisional centers will go on the block at starting prices totaling 8.7 billion rubles ($370 million) and ranging from 360 million rubles to 2.3 billion rubles.

"We are interested in all the Engineering Center regional units," Pyotr Bezukladnikov, general director of E4 Group, said in an interview Tuesday on the sidelines of an electricity conference.

A representative for the UES Engineering Center said on condition of anonymity that a structure connected to billionaire Oleg Deripaska had already submitted a bid, and that Electricite de France and Gazprom had also expressed interest in the auctions.

The UES Engineering Center, an umbrella company for almost all the country's state-owned electrical engineering institutes, currently operates throughout the CIS and Asia.

"We expect high bids as the company that buys us gets most of Russia's electricity sector companies as permanent clients," the Engineering Center representative said.