Rosneft bought Lot No. 18 of YUKOS assets at an auction yesterday for 18.58 billion rubles ($ 725 million), 0.5% over the starting price.
The only competitor for the lot, OOO Benefit, was willing to pay only the starting price and did not make any bids. Lot No. 18 consisted of all of Lot No. 16, which there were no bids for at about 10 billion rubles, plus YUKOS trade marks on petroleum products. Lot no. 16 consisted of the railway operator YUKOS Transservice, a share in ZAO KAFA (a joint Russian-Ukrainian petroleum product transshipment company), the Armenian-registered OOO YUKOS CIS Investments and 0.0015% in Kuibyshevnefteorgsintez.
The value of the YUKOS brand name is hard to assess. The financial condition of a company is considered in such estimates, as well as its reputation. YUKOS´ reputation in Russia may not correspond to its reputation in the West. Rosneft has not yet decided what to do with the brand. Owning the brand name protects the state-owned company from having to pay royalties on it or being forced to rename the YUKOS filling stations it owns. A YUKOS source said that the YUKOS filling stations bought by Rosneft in several lots will be renamed and redesigned in any case. (petrolplaza)