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Freight One Auction Closed to Press

The auction of a 75 percent minus two shares stake in the Freight One cargo company will be closed to the press, Russian Railways president Vladimir Yakunin said Friday, Interfax reported.

"The auction will be confidential, so journalists will learn about the results afterward," Yakunin said. The auction is scheduled to take place Oct. 28.

Billionaire Vladimir Lisin applied twice to bid in the auction for a $4 billion stake in the cargo unit of state-owned Russian Railways, to ensure that the sale goes ahead, said two people with knowledge of the plans.

Two of Lisin's companies applied to bid, as did billionaire energy trader Gennady Timchenko's Transoil and Neftetransservice, owned by Vadim and Vyacheslav Aminov, the people said, declining to be identified because of confidentiality issues.

The parallel applications, filed by units of Lisin's UCL Holding transportation company, were a way to ensure that the auction is not canceled for lack of multiple bids, the people said.

Globaltrans Investment said last month that it would not bid because of global financial conditions.

Dmitry Baukov, a spokesman for UCL Holding, confirmed that the company had applied. He declined to comment on the double bid. Timchenko's Transoil confirmed its application in an Oct. 10 statement. Natalya Dryzhak, a spokeswoman for Neftetransservice, did not immediately comment. 

(MT, Bloomberg)

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