Flashing heels: Petropavlovska gold race in full swing | Latest news The Moscow Post
07 December 2022

Flashing heels: Petropavlovska gold race in full swing

The leadership of one of the largest Russian mining and gold-mining holding companies Petropavlovsk failed to reanimate the "brainchild." However, they still want to take advantage of a large asset.

Petropavlovska's problems began in March 2022 due to Gazprombank being included in the UK sanctions list. And on July 12, the holding asked the UK Financial Supervision Office to withdraw the company's securities from trading on the London Stock Exchange, Interfax reports.

The gold miner sent the same request for shares to the Moscow Exchange. Against this background, by the end of the day, the company's shares collapsed by 76.98% and stood at 0.87 rubles. Despite the company's problems, several buyers were found for a large asset at once.

Who and why needs a holding drowning in sanctions, the correspondent of The Moscow Post in the Amur Region understood.

Golden pain

At one time, Petropavlovsk took out a term loan from Gazprombank for $200 million, and a revolving credit line for $86.7 million was opened in the bank. The company of a large holding is registered in the UK, this complicated the situation.

Gazprombank was included in the country's sanctions list and the holding was unable to sell gold.

Not so long ago, the company announced the termination of the listing of shares on the London Stock Exchange. In addition, the Moscow Exchange limited transactions with shares. Thus, Petropavlovsk signed its own powerlessness and deftly shifted responsibility for loans of $288.1 million to new external managers.

Allister Manson, Trevor Binyon and Joe Rolls of the Opus Business Advisory Group will now tackle the issue. On July 18, a London court appointed them external managers of Petropavlovsk. Financial analysts believe that even such actions will not help avoid bankruptcy. And the sale of property is unlikely to guarantee a way out of the debt hole.

Nature abhors a vacuum

Even despite the sanctions problems and the bankruptcy of the company, they continue to fight for the gold mine. Buyers for the problem asset have already been found. On the battlefield, UMMC creditor and main shareholder Konstantin Strukov.

Everyone goes to their goal. All Petropavlovsk assets are located in Russia. The company produces gold at the Pioneer, Malomyr and Albyn enterprises. The most valuable asset of the company is the Pokrovsky autoclave, which makes it possible to process stubborn ores. In 2018, an unfinished autoclave was ready to buy Polymetal for $250 million, but is not negotiating now. Perhaps it is to him that the hands of the UMMC are drawn.

UMMC is one of the largest metallurgical companies in Russia, the first in the country and the ninth largest copper producer in the world. UMMC does not disclose the volume of gold mining. In 2017, its CEO and co-owner Andrei Kozitsyn told TASS that production is more than 10 tons per year (352,700 ounces).

Interestingly, the UMMC tried in every possible way to avoid Western sanctions, for which Iskander Makhmudov and his business partner Andrei Bokarev recently ceased to be controlling beneficiaries of UMMC OJSC and a number of other assets.

Let's return to Konstantin Strukov, he entered the capital of Petropavlovsk in 2020, acquiring 22.37% of the shares from Roman Trotsenko.

It is possible that now Strukov's benefit is that the purchase of individual assets is a way to partially return investments in Petropavlovsk shares. Writes about this Kommersant. In connection with the latest events on the stock exchange, the value of shares fell by about ten times. At the time of his purchase of the share package, the value of the securities was $170 million. On July 12, on the last day of the listing of Petropavlovsk shares on the Moscow Exchange, it fell to $15.9 million.

In addition, Konstantin Strukov can clean up his business under the guise and withdraw the group's funds through mining structures. This story was shown by The Moscow Post.

The other side of catch-up

Officially, two interested parties are chasing the gold asset, but let's remember a few moments and heroes.

In 2019, Petropavlovsk entered the 5th gold mining tycoons of the industry. At the same time, billionaire Roman Trotsenko acquired 22.3% of the company's shares, a little later, in 2020 they will be bought by Konstantin Strukov with his company Yuzhuralzoloto (UGK).

Strukov received the money at the GPB - with the help of Suleiman Kerimov, close to Alexei Miller.

In April 2022, Strukov wanted to fully sell his stake in Petropavlovsk to Region Financial Services LLC, which is part of Sergey Sudarikov's Region Group of Companies. He, in turn, is close to Igor Sechin. It was a good move that would solve the accumulated financial problems, and. perhaps build a relationship with the head of the oil industry. However, the deal did not take place, which, however, did not prevent Sudarikov from observing his interest.

The Region Group of Companies in early March nevertheless became the owner of a 29.18% stake in the gold mining company Petropavlovsk. It is surprising that the size of this stake corresponds to the stake held by Konstantin Strukov.

With a chipped washing-tub

Judging by the events of the last few years, the bankruptcy of the gold mining company is quite planned, as previously mentioned in our materials.

As a result, the race for a gold mine lasts not the first year. One even when, the management of Petropavlovsk, in fact, signed its insolvency and the shares of the gold miner collapsed, Yuzhuralzoloto "Strukov, who is controlled by Kerimov-Miller, and UMMC are still among the buyers.

Who will get the problem asset is still unclear. However, it is the future owner who will have to deal with the payment of the remaining debt obligations. It is possible that both interested parties have already thought out the further fate of the gold mine, so the bankrupt holding does not stubbornly retreat.


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