Kurchenko falls for Mkrtchyan's asset | Latest news The Moscow Post
07 June 2023

Kurchenko "falls" for Mkrtchyan's asset

Oligarch Sergei Kurchenko is taking a risk in the interests of Suleiman Kerimov to "score points" on the Russian market, consolidating the assets of prisoner Oleg Mkrtchyan?

As it became known to the correspondent of The Moscow Post, the property of Russian mining and metallurgical company - Kuban was sold to the Kazan company Torgovy Alliance at auction for 306 million rubles. This is more than twice their initial cost. Was Oleg Mkrtchyan's asset implemented "by agreement" in the interests of the oligarch Sergey Kurchenko Kurchenko and the senator Suleiman Kerimov behind him?

Since Oleg Mkrtchyan was sentenced to nine years in prison for fraud against the VEB.RF structure,  in August last year, the assets of his Industrialny Soyuz Donbassa began to be sold off. And they have been moving away to some dubious structures so far.

This fate seems to be overtaken by RGKM-Kuban, which was declared bankrupt in December last year. Mkrtchyan left behind not the most rosy legacy: the company has a profit of minus 5.3 million rubles and zero employees.

However, the new owner of the property RGKM-Kuban is not much better. The Torgovy Alliance also has zero employees, and the profit is minus 4.3 million rubles. It is curious where did the money to buy the assets of RGKM-Kuban come from? And at the auction, the company immediately went all in - with the original cost of the lot at 117 million rubles, the Kazan office was immediately ready to unfasten 306 million "from the master's shoulder".

By the way, according to Rusprofile, the main activity of Torgovy Alliance is the provision of support services for business. The sole owner of the company is a certain Alexander Volobuev. He is the head of 13 organizations, 9 of which are currently either liquidated, and two more are in the process of liquidation. So may Volobuev be a "professional liquidator"? What "business services" does he provide?

Good old methods

In this case, you can't help but wonder in whose interests Mr. Volobuev is acting. The name of the fugitive Ukrainian oligarch Sergei Kurchenko, who has already "taken over" several assets of Mkrtchyan, immediately comes to mind.

After Mkrtchyan's arrest in 2018, Luxar company initiated bankruptcy proceedings against the following ISD assets: Revyakinsky Metallurgichesky Kombinat LLC, RGMK-Tsentralny region LLC, RGMK LLC, Revyakino TH LLC, and RGMK-Kuban CJSC. As Kommersant wrote, the situation around the structures of Mkrtchyan looked like a real "raider seizure". As reported by commercial Director of RGMK-Yug Elena Kovalenko, in August 2018, representatives of GAZ-Alliance came to the production at that time and actually stopped work on it until the employees agreed to sign new labor contracts. They were supported by the PSC Vimpel Taktik. It was possible to "expel" the "takers" only with the assistance of the police and the Prosecutor's office.

The same GAZ-Alliance is associated with Sergey Kurchenko, a businessman from the circle of Viktor Yanukovych. And so, after a failed takeover attempt, in December 2018, bankruptcy lawsuits rained down on ISD's structures. However, not from GAZ-Alliance, but from another office. But that doesn't make the coincidence any less suspicious.

By the way, back in September 2018, two former assets of Mkrtchyan were transferred to Luxor-Revyakinsky metallurgical combine LLC and its subsidiary Stavstal LLC. By the way, RSMC-Kuban once started the monitoring procedure with the filing of this counter. According to Rusprofile, the sole owner of Luxar is a certain Indira Samsonova. The lady has also a share in the RMK. Nothing else is known about it. Another figurehead?

In any case, it is difficult to call Samsonova a good manager. Luksar has zero employees and losses of as much as 953 million rubles! Where from? Stavstal and RMK are completely bankrupt: the first has losses of 240 million, the second -  102 million. From the outside, it looks as if Samsonova's company is a fake, and was used to withdraw funds.

In favor of the fact that all these assets were consolidated in the hands of the fugitive oligarch, is the fact that in the end, Mr. Mkrtchyan, along with his partner Sergey Tarut, announced the loss of their assets. The businessmen at that time owned 49% of the shares of ISD. And in February 2018, Mkrtchyan was arrested - and Sergey Kurchenko entered the arena!

This is not the end of the "dividing" of the prisoner's assets. At the beginning of this year, the Krasnodar court introduced a monitoring procedure against Industrialny Soyuz Kubani LLC. And although the company for some time repaid small amounts of debt, the bankruptcy process could not be avoided. Now the company has losses of 19 million rubles. They say that this asset may soon be in Kurchenko's "tenacious paws".

"Collect" in the second round?

Kurchenko, apparently, decided to settle firmly in Russia. It is rumored that even before the events of 2014, Russian entrepreneurs could conduct their business in Ukraine through it, bypassing the legislation - that is,  the businessman has some "connections" from those times.

At home, he left a legacy of scandals. There, a criminal case was initiated against him for theft on a particularly large scale, for which he faces 12 years in prison. His property was seized: both the Odessa oil refinery and oil products in the amount of about 100 thousand tons, located at different oil depots.

At the same time, the Russian state Bank will probably pay for Kurchenko's Ukrainian debts! So, VTB is obliged to pay 185 million dollars to Rosneft for a loan taken in 2013 by Kurchenko's VETEK group for the purchase of the Odessa oil refinery, as RBC wrote. But when the business in Nezalezhnaya did not work out, the asset was pledged to VTB for some time, until in 2017 it became the property of Ukraine. And now the state Bank, apparently, will have to take the rap in front of Rosneft.

A logical question arises: why should the oligarch consolidate Mkrtchyan's archives?

Until recently, the entrepreneur had the unspoken title of "uncrowned king" of Donbass. In the DPR, he took the nationalized Ukrainian mines and factories belonging to the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov and IDS - that is, he had business with the Mkrtchyan's structures before.

In 2017, he began managing mines in the LPR and DPR through the Vneshtorgservice company and a year later, his GAZ-Alliance became the only distributor of coal mining in the Donbass. But by 2020, it has ceased to be the only supplier of coal from these territories. Has the crown come off? So now he needs to find his niche in Russia.

They say that in the Russian Federation, he acts in the interests of Senator Suleiman Kerimov - allegedly, the assets of IDS are in the politician's sphere of interests. We should not forget that Kerimov was on good terms with Mkrtchyan. These guys were brought together by their love of football (the politician bought Anji, Mkrtchyan - Kuban), as well as a joint business.

In 2009, VEB received 50% + 2 shares of ISD holding. At that time, this deal did not attract much attention, because no one was interested in the Corporation: no one needed outdated production facilities and debts totaling $3 billion. As reported by Versia, with the assistance of Kerimov, ISD shareholders then received about $1 billion from VEB for their packages, while the credit organization spent about $5.5 billion on paying debts.

In total, the state Bank "poured" about $8 billion into the holding, which was about 2-3 times higher than the market value of the asset. But what was the difference? "Settled" in the pocket of Mr. Kerimov and Mr. Mkrtchyan? And when problems began the partner of the politician was "leaked". And here it is worth remembering that the verdict against the businessman is not disclosed in full… Did Kerimov personally ask not to submit some details to the public?

Is now Kerimov "collecting" the assets of an imprisoned comrade by Kurchenko's hands? Probably, the oligarch is trying to "establish ties" with those in power in Russia, where he decided to settle down. But a businessman should be more careful -  he may repeat the fate of his predecessor.

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