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Natasha Tsukanova

Natasha Tsukanova
Founder and Managing Director

Natasha is the Founder of Xenon, which she manages and where she is personally involved in all key transactions. Natasha established Xenon in 2009 after a distinguished career at J.P. Morgan, which she joined in London in 1997 after completing an MBA degree at INSEAD. At J.P. Morgan, Natasha executed a wide range of transactions across a broad range of industries. In particular, she played a leading role in structuring high-profile energy transactions in emerging markets. Her career culminated in her appointment as Head of Investment Banking in Russia and the CIS. In this role she led a team that completed some of the most strategic transactions in the energy industry in the region. These include the IPO of Rosneft in London; the IPO of Eurasia Drilling Company, the leader in Russian Oil Field Services; advising on the restructuring of the Russian electric power industry; and the privatization of RAO UES. Natasha's experience also includes executing transactions on behalf of Russian entities investing outside of Russia and non-Russian companies making direct investments in Russia. Examples include the Indian state oil company ONGC's acquisition of a stake in the Sakhalin-1 off-shore development, and the acquisition by Surgutneftegas of a stake in the Hungarian oil company MOL.

In 2015, Natasha played a major role in one of the most significant recent strategic transactions in the Russian Oil & Gas sector. She advised the core shareholders of EDC, Russia's largest provider of drilling services, on the announced take-private transaction and the sale of a 46% stake to Schlumberger. Although a minority sale to Schlumberger was suspended for regulatory reasons, EDC was taken private by its core shareholders in a transaction that valued 100% of its equity at $1.7bn, and which will allow the Company to undertake significant rationalisation of the business and withstand difficult market conditions.

From March 2015 until May 2016, Natasha was a Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of CTC Media, the leading Russian independent media company. In this role, Natasha led a restructuring of CTC Media through a series of transactions that enabled the company to achieve compliance with the foreign ownership thresholds of Russia’s new Mass Media Law. Natasha was instrumental in negotiating and structuring this complex transaction and driving its execution under a very tight timeline to bring the deal to closing before restrictions of the Mass Media Law became effective on January 1, 2016. This landmark transaction in the Russian media sector is notable as negotiations came in the midst of increasingly difficult market conditions, which posed significant challenges and materially impacted the execution timeline.

The Board of CTC Media, co-led by Natasha, identified that a sale followed by buyout of shares and delisting from the U.S. stock market through a merger transaction would be in the best interest of the CTC Media’s shareholders as it would permit the Company to return all available cash to shareholders, including to MTG (an international entertainment group) and minority public shareholders. Despite the increasingly challenging market environment, on December 23, 2015 CTC Media Inc. closed a sale of a 75% stake in its operating business to UTH Russia, a private commercial TV broadcasting group jointly owned by two prominent businessmen, Ivan Tavrin and Alisher Usmanov. On February 12, 2016, CTC Media received the final tranche of the purchase price. The total cash consideration in connection with the sale was $193.1mm. On March 29, 2016, CTC Media received a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury Department authorizing the Company to proceed with the contemplated cash-out merger transaction. On May 20, 2016, CTC Media successfully completed a merger transaction resulted in distribution of all available cash to the shareholders and a delisting of CTC Media’s shares from the NASDAQ. The total amount for distribution to the shareholders was c.$239mm (or $2.0503 per share, which was in the upper half of the range approved by stockholders of $1.77 to $2.19 per share).

In 2014, Natasha played a key advisory role on the $250mm acquisition of a 50% stake in the Etinde Oil & Gas permit in Cameroon by a consortium of LUKOIL and New Age. In 2013-2015, Natasha facilitated $90mm and $50mm capital raisings by New Age, a Pan-African Oil & Gas company, from private investors.

Over the past 5 years at Xenon, Natasha has advised INTER RAO UES, a leading utility company in Russia, on a number of strategic transactions. She was integral in bringing together an international consortium of private equity investors comprising the Rusenergo Fund (managed by Xenon), the Russian Direct Investment Fund, AGC Equity Partners (with funds provided by a Middle Eastern government), and the Macquarie Renaissance Infrastructure Fund to acquire a 26.43% stake in Russian power producer OJSC ENEL OGK-5 for $625mm. For executing one of the largest private equity transactions in Russia, Natasha and the Xenon team were awarded the 2012 Deal Maker of the Year Award for Russia by Finance Monthly.

Prior to J.P. Morgan, Natasha worked on the Russian privatization program in 1992 and with the Boston Consulting Group in London and Moscow.

In addition to her leadership of Xenon, Natasha holds several significant board positions. Between March 2015 and May 2016, Natasha served on the Board of Directors and as Co-Chairman of CTC Media. She is also on the Executive Board of Kerogen Capital, an Asia-based $1bn Oil & Gas private equity fund.

Outside of finance, Natasha oversees the work of the Tsukanov Family Foundation (TFF), a London-based charity supporting education, arts and culture in Russia and the UK. The TFF owns one of the largest collections of Russian post-war art and in September 2016, a number of significant pieces in the collection were donated to the Centre Pompidou in Paris as one of the core gifts in a new collection of Russian art. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as on the Development Committee and Board of Honorary Directors of the Royal Opera House. Natasha is currently a member of the committees of "Celebration!" and “Romantic Revolution”, joint programs of The London Russian Ballet School (LRBS) and the Bolshoi Theatre Ballet, aimed at engaging young people from deprived backgrounds in London into the world of ballet through LRBS and The Bolshoi Ballet joint performances.

She holds a degree in Economics from Moscow State University, was awarded a scholarship at Harvard and has published in the Journal of Political Economy and the Brookings Papers.

Natasha is a passionate tennis player and runner. She lives in Moscow and London with her husband and three children.

 

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