Ural "ches" Denis Safin
Denis Safin flaunts plans to expand his business, but in fact he may experience a serious lack of funds. Where did his billions go?
The day before, Denis Skrobotov, financial director of Ural Steel, tried with might and main, talking about the advantages of his native enterprise. And that's not surprising. After all, Denis Safin, who owns the company and at the same time is the owner of the Zagorsk Pipe Plant (ZTZ), needs to "knock out" 5 billion rubles from potential investors.
Skrobotov's arguments seem convincing. Convincing for slogans of the times of the USSR. One of the main ones is that the Ural Steel Metallurgical Plant will increase the supply of cast iron to international markets in 2023 - and not just increase, but raise them almost twice, to 1.8 million tons.
What is true and what is not in the business of the "pipe king" was understood by the correspondent of The Moscow Post in the Orenburg region.
Apparently, the Ural Steel located in the Orenburg region, like its owner Safin, may be favored by local authorities led by Governor Denis Pasler. Last summer, the latter was just present at the beginning of the construction of the new pipe-rolling shop "Ural Steel," after the asset passed to Denis Safin.
Finance to Pipe
The new workshop requires multimillion-dollar investments. The project itself should show investors that Safin's company is developing. However, money for the implementation of the project, apparently, will have to be asked from them.
In April 2023, it became known that Ural Steel plans to collect applications for three-year bonds worth at least 5 billion rubles. And this is not the first time - in December 2022, bonds were placed for 10 billion rubles. At the same time, the value of assets of Ural Steel JSC is estimated at 42 billion rubles. - it turns out that he needs at least a quarter of the value of his own company to show growth.
However, with such assets, Ural Steel turned out to be a large debtor. Today, the company's debts amount to almost 38 billion rubles.
Note this is written by the investors themselves, who are afraid to be left without their money.
At the same time, if in 2022 the revenue grew a little, then the company's profit began to decline even taking into account the state contracts of the enterprise. And this is also a wake-up call for investors.
The latest data on the debts of Ural Steel are given, apparently, taking into account the placement of last year's bonds. Thus, if Safin places bonds again, the debt of JSC may exceed the value of net assets, and then completely go into the red. Therefore, the anxiety of investors is quite understandable.
Soon, the growth of debts may block the growth of assets of the enterprise. Photo: Rusproflie.ru
At the same time, JSC debts are constantly growing. Of course, it was under Usmanov. However, if at the end of 2021 the debt amounted to 34 billion rubles, then a year later, as already mentioned, almost 38 billion. There is no reverse trend.
In addition, over the past few years, JSC has had problems with the profitability of sales, equity and assets. Only in 2021, the "pre-sanction" year, the indicators somewhat leveled off. Now we can expect another fall - after all, a confidently standing company is unlikely to issue several bond loans per quarter.
At the same time, Safin is already living on credit money. Back in 2019, he agreed on a loan of 35 billion rubles for ZTZ at VTB State Bank. The money was needed for the construction of seamless pipe production. It is such pipes that, apparently, will be produced in the new workshop of Ural Steel.
But there were already alarming bells for Mr. Safin. His ZTZ received a subsidy of 133 million rubles from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which could go, as they say, "to the left." In 2017, Safin was even placed under house arrest in connection with this situation, RBC wrote about this.
Safin himself stated that the amount went to repay the next loan to Sberbank. And as if he returned the money that he took from the state. As a result, the criminal case was closed, and Denis Safin was released from arrest. Moreover, the bank suddenly restructured Safin's debt, postponed payments on it. And with a "bonus" he credited ZTZ for another billion rubles.
Then there were rumors that the mentioned Nikolai Egorov could intervene in the situation with his connections. Whether he will help out again if such a situation arises is a question.
By the way, these subsidies, like other revenues to the Safin business, may not settle in Russia. In the Register of Legal Entities of Cyprus, the offshore ZTZ HOLDING LIMITED is easily located - apparently, the management company of the entire ZTZ holding. Its leading person is personally Denis Safin. So can loans leak there? At the same time, for some reason, Mr. Safin's sanctions are not taken, no one blocks his oxygen in the West, which in itself raises questions.
I.e. Safin's business can be offshore. At the same time, his ZTZ remains one of the largest suppliers of pipes for domestic state monopolies, the same Gazprom.
The total amount of state contracts for ZTZ exceeds 12 billion rubles. At the same time, at the end of 2021, with all its investment plans, the plant brought a net loss of 1.5 billion rubles. At the same time, the value of the plant's assets for the year decreased by a quarter.
According to open sources, the plant has risks in both financial stability and solvency. And the efficiency of the enterprise is recognized as low. Perhaps, under Safin, things will turn in a similar way for the Ural Steel.
Market for yourself
A separate question is what will be the quality of Safin's products at Ural Steel. Because earlier similar questions have already arisen to his ZTZ. And, first of all, those market players who were left without contracts of the same Gazprom, having been on the market for a long time.
It even came to the idea of creating a single operator to organize tenders for the supply of pipes for Gazprom, which was proposed by the Pipe Industry Development Fund. This is being done, it seems, to reason with the ZTZ.
The market remembers the situation with the supply of pipes for the now infamous Nord Stream-2. In the same 2016, it was assumed that the tender for the supply of large-diameter pipes for the project would be divided between OMK, TIT, ChelPipe, TMK, and the Izhora Pipe Plant of Severstal.
However, ZTZ Safina offered a huge discount - up to 15% of the cost. As a result, the contract was given to him. And many other subsequent ones - too. The question arises - and how could Mr. Safin withstand such low prices?
This is where the assumption of counterfeit appeared. In this context, Safin was reminded of the scandal with the construction of an oil pipeline in Ust-Luga in the Leningrad region, which Transneft was doing.
The pipes were supplied by Industrial Technologies. As Versiya wrote, the pipes were used, they only removed rust and old insulation, eliminated defects and glued fake markings.
The company "Insulation Pipe Plant" (ITZ, Rzhev) was engaged in this - at that time a subsidiary of the "Zagorsk Pipe Plant."
Denis Safin may be not far from bankruptcy? Photo: eng.z-t-z.ru
That scam was revealed, the amount of damage amounted to 4.5 billion rubles, but the company "Industrial Technologies" became a defendant in the case, and not at all "Insulation Pipe Plant" and not ZTZ. In the end, there were no problems for Safin or for his partners.
In 2018, Denis Safin sold ITZ to a little-known Sergei Frolov, for whom there are no businesses today. At the same time, ITZ itself was in the liquidation procedure. In recent years, it has not conducted any financial activities. Is Ural Steel waiting for the same fate?
Thus, it seems that Mr. Safin is strenuously making a good mine with a bad game - a large number of debts and the threat of losing credit resources in the future. At the same time, money can settle offshore, and the entrepreneur himself does not even think about the quality of his products.