The State Transport Leasing Company (GTLK) and the Vostok1520 railway operator, which specializes in coal transportation and is part of the IST group of Alexander Nesis, broke off a lease for 15.5 thousand open wagons with increased payload capacity (77 tons), according to SPARK data.
Now these cars will be handed over to Modum-Trans (the former UVZ-Logistic, the main co-owners are the son of Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika Artem and the son of the first deputy head of Rostec Vladimir Artyakov Dmitry). RBC was told about this by two sources - in the relevant department and one of the railway operators.
Vostok1520 signed four rental agreements with GTLK for a total of 15.5 thousand open wagons in 2016 and 2017, with a lease term of 2032. All contracts were terminated on October 1, 2019 "by agreement of the parties", follows from SPARK data. After the termination of these contracts, Vostok1520 will have 3.2 thousand gondola cars. Now the business model of the company will have to be completely changed, a source close to it said to RBC.
Why Nesis refuses wagons
Nesis decided to gradually leave the railway business at the “peak of the market” by transferring Modum Transu wagons, an interlocutor among shippers told RBC. In addition to Vostok1520, GTLK wagons (about 9.5 thousand) are also returned by VM-Trans, another company associated with Nesis structures, said INFORMine Analytics CEO RBC Mikhail Burmistrov (Nesis’s structure claimed VM-Trans ", But no completion was reported). All 25 thousand gondola cars with increased carrying capacity are leased to Modum Transu, he added.
According to Burmistrov, after the completion of these transactions, Modum-Trans will become the largest operator of a fleet of gondola cars with an increased carrying capacity with a fleet of more than 41.5 thousand units. This is more than that of the current market leader - SUEK coal company Andrey Melnichenko, which now has over 35 thousand open-top wagons with increased payload management (see infographic). Due to the increased carrying capacity, a special tariff scheme for empty mileage and lower repair costs, freight in such wagons costs shippers cheaper.
Now, according to SPARK, Modum Trans already has several lease contracts for more than 7.5 thousand GTLK cars. Among the carrier’s customers are coal companies Mechel, Eurochem, Sibanthracite, as well as Uralchem.
The press services of the IST and Vostok1520 groups declined to comment. RBC sent inquiries to VM-Trans, Modum-Trans, GTLK and FAS.
How FAS influenced the plans of Nesis and GTLK
In 2018, the GTLK was going to buy for 70 billion rubles. ICT Group has the First Heavyweight Company (PTK), through which it controls Vostok1520, as well as Ilya Belyaev's Brunswick Rail, to create its own railway operator on their basis. However, the head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), Igor Artemyev, spoke out against the deals, the Kommersant newspaper wrote with reference to his letter to the Minister Yevgeny Dietrich. The press service of the department explained to RBC that, having absorbed private operators, GTLK could achieve a "dominant position" in the market, which would negatively affect competition.
In April 2019, SUEK bought another key asset of PTK - the leasing company Nitrokhimprom with a fleet of 16 thousand heavy-duty wagons. After that, GTLK abandoned the idea of buying a PTK, deciding to focus on the traditional leasing business.
After ICT failed to completely sell the assets of the First Heavyweight Company (and only a part - in favor of SUEK), early termination of rental contracts with GTLK is a mutually beneficial situation, Burmistrov said. Now, investments in the railway sector are most likely inferior in terms of profitability and risk to other areas, for example, in the mining and metallurgical industry, where Polymetal operates, the share of which belongs to the group, he indicates. GTLK, having terminated the contracts with Vostok1520 and VM-Trans, was able to ensure the transfer of the park without downtime to a new reliable client - Modum-Trans, Burmistrov added.
In December 2018, the ICT Group left the United Carriage Building Company, which it created in 2015. The largest co-owner of OVK was Otkrytie Bank, another 9.3% from the Uralvagonzavod concern, which is part of the Rostec state corporation. In May, the First Heavyweight Company again increased its stake in the United Wagon Company, but to 14.83%.