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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rebgun Nominated for Rosneft Board Post

Bankrupt oil firm Yukos has reportedly nominated its receiver, Eduard Rebgun, to the board of directors of Rosneft, the state oil company that could wind up winning many of the Yukos assets up for grabs at upcoming auctions.

Rebgun and another Yukos manager, Sergei Tregub, have been nominated to the nine-seat board, Vedomosti reported Thursday, citing sources familiar with the nominations.

Rebgun's spokesman Nikolai Lashkevich confirmed on Thursday that Yukos had nominated two candidates to Rosneft's board, but declined to give their names. Rosneft also declined to comment.

Rosneft could potentially vote for Rebgun if it buys its shares from Yukos later this month and select him to the board at a shareholders' meeting that should take place before July. Thus, Rebgun could sit on the Rosneft board and be remunerated by Rosneft even as he manages the auctions of Yukos property in which Rosneft could be a bidder.

Rosneft has yet to call a shareholders' meeting to select board members. Georgy Ivanin, an oil and gas analyst at investment company Atlanta Capital, predicted that the sales of Yukos assets would last until the end of the year.

Yukos owns 9.44 percent of Rosneft, but this stake will change hands at a March 27 auction. Rosneft is seen as the likeliest buyer. There could be a deal between Rosneft and Rebgun that the company will support his candidacy if it buys the shares, said UralSib oil and gas analyst Alexei Kormshchikov.

Rosneft cannot nominate Rebgun after it buys the shares because it will have likely missed the deadline. Shareholders should nominate candidates within a certain period after the New Year.

This period is 30 days if the corporate charter does not say otherwise. A Rosneft spokesman declined to discuss the time frame but Vedomosti reported that Thursday was the deadline.

Rebgun, director of consultancy Biznes Lotsia, became Yukos receiver courtesy of Rosneft, which proposed him as external manager in spring 2006. A court endorsed the proposal.

Rosneft also has representatives in the Yukos creditors' committee as the largest creditor after the Federal Tax Service. Alexander Temerko, a former Yukos vice president, said last summer that Rosneft was de facto running Yukos, a statement Rosneft denied.

Kormshchikov said he was baffled by Rebgun's reported nomination, agreeing that his appointment would create a conflict of interests. "If Rosneft needed favorable conditions at the auctions, it could have arranged them in a less public way," he said. "Rosneft has all the chances anyway."

Ivanin of Atlanta Capital said Rebgun's appointment to the board would not drastically change the conditions for the auctions or put off other potential bidders. As Rosneft has its representatives on the creditors' committee and is a principal potential bidder, there is already a serious conflict of interests, he said.

Claire Davidson, a spokeswoman for Yukos majority shareholder GML and Yukos' London-based managers, could not be reached immediately for comment Thursday. In a statement last week, she condemned the auctions, saying it was wrong to apply discounts to the starting price of "what the world knows to be extremely valuable assets."