|Severstaltrans represents an industrial group that is among the largest rail
transportation, shipping and logistics operators in Russia and the CIS, and has
established itself as a market leader in providing services for the export, import
and transit of international and domestic cargo. The Severstaltrans Group’s (the
“Group”) operations are defined by three main categories, Railroad Services,
Seaport Services and Machine Building.
The majority of the companies in the Group are ultimately owned 50% by Mr
Alexey Mordashov (the controlling shareholder of Severstal which is Russia’s 3rd
largest steel producer) and 50% by Severstaltrans senior management (the
“Shareholder Group”). Despite Severstaltrans being a separate entity from
Severstal, the relationship is such that Severstal management are represented
on the Board of Directors.
Originally created for the purpose of serving Severstal’s transportation needs, the
Group has continued to employ an aggressive acquisition strategy over the past
several years to create a wholly integrated transportation holding company.
Indeed, the Group’s expansionary activities has resulted in acquiring stakes in
Vostochny and Tuapse seaports, strategic ports on the Pacific Sea and Black
Sea, and also a majority shareholding in the Kolomenskiy Plant JSC - Russia’s
largest manufacturer of diesel locomotives and engines.
More recently, in 2003 the Shareholder Group purchased OOO Balttransservice,
one of Russia’s largest operators of railway traffic and specialises in
transportation of oil and oil products. With an estimated EBITDA of US$41 million
in 2002 Balttransservice remains a key profit centre for Severstaltrans.
In the rapidly developing industry Severstaltrans has been able to benefit from a
stable client base, including the Russian Ministry of Railway Transport, TNK-BP,
Slavneft, Yukos, Tatneft and Severstal (Severstal shipments do not amount to
more than 5% of the total shipping handled by Severstaltrans).
According to FY2002 IAS financial data, Severstaltrans Group consolidated
revenues increased 45% y-o-y to reach US$692.3 million, with an EBITDA of
US$117 million and total assets were estimated at US$489.9 million. Latest data
for 2003 suggest another robust performance, with sales up 48% y-o-y over the
first six months.
Severstaltrans continues to secure an established credit history and has a
number of outstanding banking facilities with both international and Russian
Banks. In January 2004, the company’s credit status was further enhanced by
the IFC’s approval of a US$40 million loan to assist in the expansion of their rail
tanker car fleet and acquisition of new locomotives.
Severstaltrans is currently in the process of launching its first capital markets
transaction with the sale of Credit Linked Notes (CLNs) for its special purpose
vehicle - Severstaltrans Finance – with 3 companies within the Group
(Severstaltrans, Balttransservice and Kolomenskiy Plant) acting as guarantors for
the proposed financing.
Overall, freight transportation, particularly container operations, remains one of
the most rapid and dynamically growing sectors in the Russian economy and
through its strategic expansion Severstaltrans has positioned itself to benefit from
such developments. A position that is further enhanced by Russia’s vast transit
potential and the government’s long-term investment strategy.|