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Who is Michael Bobrov, the new man at Isab in Priolo

Who is Michael Bobrov, the new man at Isab in Priolo

Life and business of Michael Bobrov, head of the Cypriot fund that owns Isab, and who really put the money into buying the refinery. The article by Gianluca Paolucci for Verità & Affari

The government will have the last word on the acquisition of the Priolo refinery by the consortium led by manager Michael Bobrov and supported by the giant Trafigura, one of the main operators in the global petroleum products market.

At the moment, according to what has been learned, the procedure for the exercise of the Golden power by the executive has not yet been started. The analysis of the offices of the ministry led by Adolfo Urso will first of all have to clarify where the capital needed to complete the acquisition comes from.


Born in South Africa, but for some time in Israel where he was for a long time head of the local activities of the giant Trafigura, Bobrov has raised an amount close to 2 billion euros to acquire the Isab refinery in Priolo from the Russians of Lukoil. Bobrov's offer has overcome strong competition: according to what has been reconstructed, Lukoil would have received at least four other offers in addition to that of Bobrov, the US fund Crossbridge and a consortium led by the Qatari businessman Saad Al Saad.

Goi Energy, the vehicle used for the acquisition, is powered by Cypriot fund Argus New Energy. Section 2 of the fund, as written on the management company's website, is dedicated to investments in infrastructure for the energy sector and was authorized by the Cypriot market control authorities last July.

The fund's management company, Argus Management, had so far assets under management of two billion euros, according to what can be read on the company's website, spread over various investment funds.


Next to Goi Energy there is Trafigura. The group, based in Switzerland, will ensure supplies and offtake with long-term contracts, which should give financial stability to Isab's activities. Although Trafigura is not expected to enter directly into the capital of the Sicilian refinery.

An intervention by Beny Steinmetz, one of the richest men in Israel, is also excluded in the Priolo refinery. Steinmetz is the father-in-law of Bobrov's two partners in another oil business, the Bazan Refinery. The origin of the funds needed for the operation remains unknown, i.e. the almost two billion promised to Lukoil for the Priolo refinery.

Bobrov has only recently turned to entrepreneurial activities, after having been a manager of Trafigura's own for a long time. Last September he emerged as the main shareholder of a consortium that took control of the main Israeli refinery, Bazan, one of the most important in the eastern Mediterranean (30% of production is exported to neighboring countries). Bobrov is still listed in Israeli corporate records as a director of a Trafigura group company called T&A Iris Holdings.

(Extract from an article published in Verità & Affari; here the complete version)

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/economia/michael-bobrov-isab/ on Sun, 15 Jan 2023 06:37:09 +0000.