YukosSibneft Oil Company
The Yukos Oil Company is Russia's second-largest oil company and one of the world's largest non-state oil companies by reserves and market capitalization. Until recently, the company was led by Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky and other prominent businessmen. Recent events have seen Yukos broken up, partially renationalized and its leaders imprisoned or exiled.
- Yukos became the first fully-privatized, fully-integrated oil company in Russia through a series of deals in 1995-6. Billionaire banker Khordorkovsky acquired the firm for a sum reported to be between $200 million and $1.5 million.
- Platon Lebedev, "chairman of the financial group Menatep and one of Yukos's major shareholders," arrested July 2, 2003.
- Khodorkovsky arrested and charged with fraud and tax evasion on October 25, 2003. Other Yukos executives fled Russia to avoid arrest.
- "Yukos's stock prices [plummeted] over the summer , bringing down the broader market as well." They soon rebounded due to reports of merger talks with ExxonMobil.
- The Yukos Oil Company became the YukosSibneft Oil Company on October 3, 2003, with the merger of Yukos and "a smaller rival, Sibneft.... [together] valued at $45 billion, [which] creates Russia's largest oil and gas company and the world's fifth largest private oil company."
- U.S. oilman Steven Theede took over Yukos as CEO, COO, and senior vice president. Moscow Times, October 28, 2003.
- In its December 2004 attempt to file for bankruptcy in a US court, Yukos listed Burson-Marsteller as amongst its top 20 unsecured creditors with the PR company being owed $1 million. Russia dismissed the US court orders, saying it had no jurisdiction.
- Yukos was broken up when the Russian government auctioned off its main production unit, Yuganskneftegas, to a relative unknown for $9.35 billion on December 19, 2004. Four days later, the purchasing company is in turn bought out by the state-owned oil firm Rosneft, effectively renationalizing Yuganskneftegas.
- Khordorkovsky and Lebedev were found guilty of six charges including tax evasion and were each sentenced to nine years in prison on May 31, 2005. Khordorkovsky's supporters believe his trial was political move by the Kremlin as punishment for his financial support of pro-Western opposition parties, and that he was already judged guilty before trial.
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Yukos.com website.
- BBC timeline of events up to May 31, 2005.
- Steven Lee Myers, Criminal Inquiry Into Russian Oil Company Is Renewed, New York Times, October 4, 2003: "Criminal investigators conducted a new round of searches on Friday, focusing on Russia's richest oil company, Yukos, in a sign that the investigation that has shadowed the company since July is far from over."
- Creation of Russia's Yukos-Sibneft energy colossus hits rocks, AFP, November 28, 2003.
- Erin E. Arvedlund, Oil Producer in Russia Halts a Deal, New York Times, November 29, 2003: "Sibneft, a major Russian oil producer, said on Friday that it had suspended its $13 billion merger with Russia's biggest oil company, Yukos, taking its embattled partner by surprise and roiling markets here."
- Leslie Wines, "Top 10 creditors in Yukos bankruptcy", CBS MarketWatch, December 15, 2004.
- Erin E. Arvedlund, "Houston stages Yukos drama", International Herald Tribune, February 16, 2005. (This is a syndicated New York Times story. It mentions that Michael Lake from Burson-Marsteller acted as Yukos spokesperson over the Houston court case over the company assets.)
- Hamilton Nolan, "Russian oil firm wages bid to survive in global media", PR Week, June 6, 2005. (Sub req'd.)