UPDATE 1-Exillon shares fall as court order raises uncertainty about buyout

Wed Aug 7, 2013 4:53pm EDT

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Aug 7 (Reuters) - Shares in Russian oil producer Exillon Energy Plc, in takeover talks with founder and Kazakh businessman Maksat Arip, fell 9 percent after paper maker Kazakhstan Kagazy Plc said it obtained a court order freezing Arip's assets in a separate dispute.

Exillon, which has assets in Russia's oil-rich regions of Timan-Pechora and western Siberia, said in July it had been approached by Arip, its former chairman and its largest shareholder, with 30.17 percent of the company.

Arip has to state whether he intends to make an offer or not for Exillon by Aug. 27.

London-listed Kazakhstan Kagazy said on Tuesday it had secured an order from the London High Court to freeze the assets of two of its former shareholders and directors, Baglan Zhunus and Maksat Arip, to recover misappropriated funds.

Arip was CEO of Kazakhstan Kagazy between 2003 and April 2008 and a director of the company until July 2009.

Baglan Zhunus was chairman of Kazakhstan Kagazy from April 2004 to May 2009, according to his LinkedIn profile.

A spokesman for Exillon declined to comment on Kagazy's statement. Arip and Zhunus could not immediately be reached for comment.

"Forensic analysis by the board and their appointed advisors has discovered that a sum of approximately $150 million was extracted from the company and channelled into separate businesses outside of the Kazakhstan Kagazy Group," the company said in a statement.

Of the $150 million, investors may have been defrauded by as much as $90 million from Kazakhstan Kagazy's London initial public offering, the Financial Times reported late on Wednesday, citing court documents.

The company also said it would inform the police, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the London Stock Exchange.

Exillon was fined nearly 300,000 pounds ($461,500) in April 2012 for failing to disclose payments made to Arip. He was chairman between November 2009 and April 2011. (r.reuters.com/san99t)

Exillon's shares were down about 9 percent at 127.50 pence at 1032 GMT. They fell as much as 11 percent earlier in trade. ($1 = 0.6500 British pounds) (Reporting by Karen Rebelo in Bangalore; additional reporting by Richa Naidu; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal)

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