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Sibir loses top spot on Aim

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By Bryce Elder and Neil Hume

Published: October 17 2008 03:00 | Last updated: October 17 2008 03:00

Sibir Energy lost its position as Aim’s biggest company after it bailed out core shareholders just a week after denying they had been facing margin calls.

The Siberia-based oil group said it had advanced $159m of pre-acquisition funds to Chalva Tchigirinsky and Igor Kesaev while it negotiated a final price for assets including a Moscow hotel. The pair had taken out loans secured against their 47 per cent Sibir stake.

Other businesses being sold to Sibir by the Russian businessmen included undeveloped land in a Moscow suburb and stakes in an ether refinery. The company admitted it had taken the steps to preserve its shareholder structure.

Sibir sank 32.9 per cent to 204¾p, valuing the company at £791m. Three months ago it had been worth £3.2bn, bolstered by hopes that Royal Dutch Shell would take a stake.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

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