The case of bankruptcy of a major contractor of FGC UES (controlled by Rosseti PJSC) - Uralelectrostroy (UES), known for the conflicts around Substation Iset in the Sverdlovsk region, became a ground for “fighting” between fingigant managers - Sberbank and VTB. The first insists on the continuation of the activities of the organization, in which it retains jobs for 750 people, and pours new billions into the company. VTB, in turn, is convinced that it is impossible to restore the organization’s solvency and indicates that Sberbank in a conflict situation is pursuing “personal interests”. Based on this, subordinates of Andrei Kostin have already demanded that decisions of UES creditors be invalidated, and also insisted on introducing bankruptcy proceedings in the companies. The implementation of such a scenario could hit both the construction projects of FGC UES, which extended contracts with the general contractor, and Sberbank, which did not block the financing channels. In the case of bankruptcy proceedings, as experts point out, it will be extremely difficult to realize the property of a resistive electrical device due to its low liquidity and specificity. Nevertheless, the arbitration has yet to decide on the further procedure in the company, financial claims to which already exceed 8 billion rubles.
VTB Bank demanded to declare invalid the decisions of the meeting of creditors of LLC Uralelektrostroy, a major contractor of FGC UES, which gained notoriety, including due to conflicts around PS Iset in the Sverdlovsk region. At the meeting of creditors, in particular, decisions were made to transfer, within the framework of a bankruptcy case of a UES, to the procedure of external management, and to file an appropriate petition to the court. The actions of the interim manager for the approval of the company's transactions with Sberbank were also approved. These points caused claims from VTB, which had previously insisted on introducing bankruptcy proceedings with the company.
Meanwhile, meeting the requirements of Andrei Kostin’s subordinates can create major financial problems for both Sberbank and FGC UES.
Referring to the expert’s comment, despite the initiation of bankruptcy proceedings against Uralelektrostroy LLC (observation procedure introduced in July 2018), 7 contracts of UES with FGC UES were extended for periods from March 2019 to December 31, 2019.
In turn, Sberbank, in parallel with the extension of agreements with FGC UES, concluded a general agreement with UES on opening a non-renewable framework credit line company for 8.3 billion rubles - “to finance current expenses in the bankruptcy procedure of the borrower, to perform works under contracts”.
Moreover, as indicated by representatives of Sberbank in the Eighteenth Arbitration Court of Appeal, as of February of this year alone, 4.3 billion of the above described amount have already been issued to the contractor of FGC UES for financing its activities and related companies.
It is logical that Sberbank insisted on the introduction of external management in the company, which gave billions of rubles, which would allow the UES to function, essentially, in the previous mode and execute the contracts of power engineers on the capital construction basis.
However, VTB categorically disagreed with this scenario, saying that it was impossible to restore the solvency of Uralelectrostroi, as well as a possible conflict of interest related to the affiliation of UES and Sberbank. Note that according to the data of the Kontur.Focus system, from August 2018, 33% in UES belongs to Sbk Premier LLC, which is co-founded by Sbk Project LLC, controlled by Sberbank Capital.
As previously reported in detail by Pravda UrFO, the volume of financial claims against Uralelectrostroy has already exceeded 8 billion rubles. Their main share is due to debts to Sberbank, which announced that the FGC UES contractor has not fulfilled liabilities by more than 6 billion. Among other major creditors, VTB: the financial structure included in the register of electrical-electronic devices more than 1.1 billion rubles.
Now, VTB's demands for challenging the decisions of the meeting of creditors, as well as the results of the monitoring procedure, will be considered next week. It should be noted that Kostin’s subordinates have already managed to partially block the decisions of the meeting of UES creditors. However, in April, Sberbank successfully challenged these actions in the appeal, stating that its position was motivated by the need to "complete 8 contracts that have a major social effect for the state."
However, the publication interlocutors among bankers point to the atypical nature of such a model of behavior for financial organizations in working with problem borrowers. "I do not exclude that individual managers of Sberbank can be personally deeply immersed in this business, this would explain such a large-scale work to keep the company afloat," the publication interlocutor shared his personal opinion among the financiers.
The source of Pravda UrFD on the energy market, in turn, notes that all the operating activities of the UES are allegedly now under the control of Sberbank.
“Sergey Chernov (the main founder of Uralelectrostroy. - Approx. Ed.) Lost control over the operational management of the business. The most important thing for him now is to settle all the problematic issues with Sberbank and VTB. And, as they say, he is in dialogue with financial organizations, because if the negotiation process is disrupted, the fate of a businessman can be extremely unenviable. Chernov is trying to avoid this scenario, according to some sources, he is doing quite well, allegedly living mostly in one of the southern European countries, and he doesn’t need additional problems with lenders with administrative resources such as Sberbank and VTB, ” his own vision of the situation source familiar with the conflicts around Uralelectrostroy.
Another source of the publication adheres to a similar judgment, noting that the crisis situation, of course, could be caused by abuses within the company (previously, Pravda UrFO) revealed signs of deliberate bankruptcy in a resistive element, but the factors associated with the specifics of work should not be excluded. According to the source, when one of the major customers of any profile offers you to go to the site, often only technical documentation is provided.
“The contractor at this moment, as a rule, has neither a project nor an estimate. Do you want to work on such conditions, do not want to find others. So people are forced to get involved in such contracts, let's say, on "gentlemen's agreements". Further, the price is stable under these agreements is adjusted by coefficients only in the minus contractor. So I do not exclude that such contracts could have helped create a crisis situation for Chernov. The fact that he does not shy away from the dialogue suggests that, apparently, he does not see the guilt for himself. Moreover, the bodies are able to work with especially unscrupulous entrepreneurs. I remember that during the reorganization of “IDGC of Urals” in the territory of the Southern Urals there was a certain Raslanov. He was also heavily credited and decided to throw everyone. Then he was found in Italy. Once he flew to Venice, where he was arrested by Interpol. I think that Chernov does not want to become a participant in a similar story, ”concluded the source.
We add that Sergei Chernov himself is now also going through a bankruptcy procedure. Large claims from Sberbank, VTB, Vorstadt and Rus banks have already been made to the entrepreneur.