Rise Capital, 50 percent owned by Nekton, signs strategic partnership agreement with Russia’s key energy district

Friday, 19th June 2015, Russia, St Petersburg:

A formal strategic partnership has been signed by the Governor of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, Mr Dmitri Kobylkin, and the Chairman of the Board of private equity infrastructure investor Rise Capital AB (“Rise Capital”), Gerard Lopez. This took place at the St Petersburg Economic Forum in Russia and in the presence of the authorised representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Urals Federal District, Mr Igor Kholmanskih.

The terms of this partnership agreement will give Rise Capital the authority to conduct preliminary negotiations with a view to attracting new capital from international and domestic private investors into the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, one of the world’s most strategically important energy regions. a prominent focus of these negotiations will be on securing new capital from Middle Eastern and Asian investors in large scale infrastructure projects of strategic federal importance, located in Yamal-Nenets and the Arctic zone.

One of the potential projects under consideration is the construction of a section of the Northern Latitudinal Railway, a transport infrastructure project located in the Urals Federal District, which would connect the region’s main hydrocarbon deposits and allow for the safe and efficient transportation of resources and goods. Rise Capital is an active member of a working group chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister, Arkadiy Dvorkovich, which is overseeing the project and reviewing the financing mechanisms and construction processes required for its realisation, including potential Public Private Partnership (“PPP”) arrangements, as well as conducting preliminary negotiations with foreign investors.

The strategic partnership agreement follows a 50 per cent acquisition of Rise Capital by Nekton, a private-owned global energy merchant company chaired by Gerard Lopez, the international entrepreneur and early-stage financer in Skype. Nekton has a strong background in energy investing and as part of its investment in Rise Capital will utilise its extensive experience, network and financial capabilities to help source additional financing for projects, with a particular focus on wealth funds, pension funds and institutional investors in Asia and the Middle East.

Rise Capital is an active private investor in the Russian infrastructure market with significant experience and an extensive track record in the sector. It has an extensive pipeline of projects and established relationships with Russia’s leading constructions and engineering groups and the most prominent financial institutions. Rise Capital’s primary investment focus is on infrastructure projects realised with the application of PPP mechanisms, including in energy, transportation, aviation and social infrastructure.

Chairman of the Board of Rise Capital, Gerard Lopez, said:

“It is an honour to be given the opportunity to sign this historic strategic partnership agreement, which will see us working with our Russian colleagues in helping to attract significant new international investment to one of Russia’s most strategically important districts and realising some of its most important infrastructure projects. We believe Russia has a great deal to offer the global investor community and we are privileged to be entrusted with a central involvement in this process, to which we hope to bring our management expertise, financing capabilities and global investment experience.”

For further information, please contact:

Alex Nekrassov / Shaya Raymond
+44 (0) 207 930 8033


Notes to editors

Yamal Peninsula holds huge oil and gas deposits located both onshore and offshore. Proven regional hydrocarbon reserves are estimated at 16 tcm of gas, 231m tonnes of gas condensate and 292m tonnes of crude oil. As a result, the region is of the utmost importance for Russian oil and gas companies. Gazprom’s main production fields are in the area, and it is also heavily involved in the development of several regional infrastructure projects​. Novatek, Russia’s second largest gas producer, has its headquarters in the region.

Rise Capital is an international, private equity fund, whose primary investment focus is on infrastructure, including public-private partnership arrangements (PPP), across a range of sectors and industries, including energy, transport and social infrastructure.

Nekton Global is a privately-owned energy merchant company with global presence, headquartered in Dubai with offices in Latin America, CIS, Africa and Middle East. Nekton provides comprehensive financial solutions through full investment cycle starting from financial advisory to principal investments and investment management. Nekton also maintains strong level relationships with numerous sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and institutional investors throughout the world and particularly within Latin America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Gerard Lopez is an entrepreneur, businessman and technologist based in Luxembourg. He is the chairman and CEO of Nekton Global and a founding partner and a key shareholder of Mangrove Capital having funded some of the world’s most successful tech companies including Skype, Wix, or Nimbuzz. He is also the founder of Genii Capital – active in real estate, automotive and financial investments. He sits on the board of Mangrove, Genii Group, Nekton, Ecotive, CiteeCar and other group companies. He is a member of the Advisory Council for Miami University Business School and founded the Act Mangrove Charity foundation promoting education for under developed countries. Gerard also sits on the board of the Royal Theatre of Madrid, one of Europe’s most renowned theatres. He speaks English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Luxembourgish.