Andrey Melnichenko, who indirectly owned a 92.2% stake in Siberian Coal Energy Company (SUEK) as of the end of 2021 with his family, is no longer its beneficiary. This was announced on Thursday, March 10, by the press service of the group.
Since March 9, the businessman also left the board of directors of SUEK, which he has been a member of since 2004 and where he headed the HR and remuneration committee. "After Melnichenko's withdrawal from the Board of Directors and the number of SUEK's beneficiaries, the share he controls was reduced to 0%," the statement said. But it does not indicate to whom this share passed. RBC sent a request to the press service of the company.
And it was on March 9 that the European Union imposed sanctions against 14 businessmen from Russia, including Melnichenko. In addition to him, the list includes the head of the state corporation Rosnano Andrey Kulikov, the general director of Aeroflot Mikhail Poluboyarinov and others. One of the reasons for the imposition of these sanctions is their participation in a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on February 24 after the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine.
SUEK is the largest coal producer in Russia (more than 100 million tons per year, of which 54.5 million tons were exported in 2021), as well as one of the leading sellers of thermal energy. The company has 27 coal mines and cuts and 27 power plants. In the structure of revenue, coal sales account for 61.2%, electricity and heat supplies - 35.8%, logistics services (transshipment of goods and railway transportation) - 3%.
The restrictive measures of the European Union generally impose a ban on European banks and companies from any economic activity with a sanctioned person and businesses owned by him. In fact, European sanctions oblige European companies not to purchase goods and services from a person included in the sanctions list and not to supply them to him. In particular, due to European sanctions, supplies to Europe were forced to stop Severstal, whose main owner Alexei Mordashov was blacklisted even earlier, on February 28.
Such rules for the treatment of Russian persons under sanctions were introduced by the European Union in March 2014, after the annexation of Crimea to Russia. Then the EU imposed sanctions for actions that undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, Jan Lepeu, a researcher on restrictive measures at the European University Institute, told RBC.
Melnichenko is also, as of at least April 2020, the owner of EuroChem Group (the parent company of the fertilizer manufacturer EuroChem) and is on its board of directors. According to the results of last year, the businessman entered the top ten richest Russians. Due to rising prices for fertilizers and coal, he increased his fortune by $10.6 billion, Forbes wrote, in total, by the end of 2021, his fortune was $25.37 billion.