According to Kommersant’s information, Gazprom Energoholding may acquire the main electricity supplier for Russian Railways, Rusenergosbyt, owned by Grigory Berezkin’s ESN and Enel of Italy. According to analysts’ estimates, as a result, Gazprom Energoholding will become the second largest energy sales company in Russia.
Gazprom Energoholding (GEH, manages the monopoly’s energy assets) is negotiating with the ESN of Grigory Berezkin and the Italian Enel on the purchase of their joint venture Rusenergosbyt (RES, from ESN – 50.5%, from Enel – 49.5%). In particular, on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, a meeting of the delegations of the GEH and Enel was held, where the issue of the Italian company’s withdrawal from the energy sales business was discussed. One of Kommersant’s sources claims that negotiations on the sale of a package belonging to the UST are at the final stage of approval, and the deal may be closed by the end of the year. Negotiations with Enel are underway at an earlier stage. The price of both deals has not yet been determined.
The GEH, Russian Railways, ESN and Enel declined to comment.
Rusenergosbyt LLC – the main supplier of energy for Russian Railways. Enel acquired a stake in RES in 2006 for $ 105 million. Now the company occupies the third position in the electricity sales market after Inter RAO and TNS Energo. According to the company’s statements, the revenue under RAS for 2020 is 181.46 billion rubles, the net profit is 7.49 billion rubles. EBITDA of Rusenergosbyt for the last year – 8.52 billion rubles.
Rusenergosbyt is one of the few large energy sales companies owned by private players and closely related to one industrial client, but not included in its structure. RES has been supplying electricity to consumers since 2003. Initially, RES was also responsible for supplying power to subsidiaries of Gazprom, Rosneft and SIBUR. But subsequently, a reverse trend developed on the market: almost all large industrial consumers of electricity began to refuse the services of intermediaries in order to save on sales margins. As a result, RES has only one large client, which forms up to 80% of its portfolio – Russian Railways. RES has a long-term contract with JSC Russian Railways until 2038.
One of Kommersant’s interlocutors explains the desire of Mr. Berezkin to leave the sales segment by the fact that the businessman has already realized the main possibilities for the development of RES and now intends to enter the cash. Another interlocutor of Kommersant believes that the interest of GEH in the deal is explained by the large imbalance between the production, sale and consumption of electricity: the purchase of RES is a way to acquire a client base of 50 billion kWh per year. Enel’s strategy is to build up its green portfolio and gradually abandon participation in the traditional energy sectors of business.
If this transaction is implemented, GEH will become the second largest sales company in Russia in terms of electricity transmission after Inter RAO with a market share of about 6.5%, and the third largest in terms of revenue, which will reach a total level of RUB 250–260 billion, notes Vladimir Sklyar from VTB Capital. In his opinion, the deal has three main advantages for GEH. First, in the context of setting tariffs on the principle of benchmark sales, the creation of national sales groups leads to an increase in business margins by centralizing certain processes (billing, consumer support) and strengthening the ability to compete at the expense of price. Second, in the context of the rapidly growing demand for green energy in the country, the presence of its own sales company guarantees long-term demand for the products of Gazprom’s own wholesale generation, reducing the risk of generating a discount for the generation of the group’s gas and coal plants. Finally, thirdly, Rusenergosbyt already has sufficient infrastructure to organize electricity supplies practically anywhere in the country, taking into account the profile of its main customers. This will allow the united sales company of Gazprom to immediately claim leadership in this market segment and, in the future, serve the energy needs of the entire Gazprom group.