Moscow, Russia- October 31, 2012 - Sistema JSFC ("Sistema" or the "Company") (LSE: SSA), the largest publicly-traded diversified holding company in Russia and the CIS, today announces that it has signed a non-binding term sheet regarding the acquisition of 100% of the issued and outstanding shares in the share capital of Argos Group Holding B.V. ("Argos" and together with its subsidiaries and participations, the "Argos Group"), the largest independent group in the Western European downstream oil market, combining storage and distribution with the international trade in and sale of mineral oils and biofuels.
The contemplated transaction is subject to (i) completion of due diligence and the execution of legally binding transaction documents, (ii) corporate approval by Sistema, and (iii) clearance from the European Commission pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No. 139/2004 as well as the possible clearance from competition authorities in other countries in which Sistema is active.
Sistema and Argos envisage working closely together to prepare the notifications to the relevant competition authorities for the merger control clearances required for the contemplated transaction, which are expected to be made in the near future. Further announcements will be made as appropriate.
Felix Evtushenkov, First Vice-President of Sistema, commented: "Investment in the Argos Group presents an attractive opportunity, given the prospects of the logistics segment in the oil industry, the highly-skilled management team of the Argos Group, and potential synergy between the Argos Group and Sistema's oil assets. As a strategic investor Sistema will provide the Argos Group with an opportunity to expand its business, strengthen its market position in Western Europe and establish strong relations with Russian suppliers of hydrocarbons."
Peter Goedvolk, Chief Executive Officer of Argos, added: "We are highly enthusiastic about having Sistema as our strategic investor as it will help us to accelerate our growth strategy. There is good scope for cooperation between the Argos Group as a large player in the oil trading and logistics market, and Sistema's upstream and downstream oil assets. Such cooperation will help us to expand and strengthen our market positions both in terms of geographic presence as well as product offering."