Igor Shuvalov will throw Angstrom-T money

The plant, controlled by VEB.RF, required new financing.
As it became known to Kommersant, the supervisory board of VEB.RF, chaired by Dmitry Medvedev, will consider the possibility of allocating a new financing to the Angstrom-T microelectronics plant. The company, formerly owned by ex-communications minister Leonid Reiman and recently transferred under the control of VEB.RF for debts, needs about 3 billion rubles to continue its operations. Otherwise, it is proposed to shut down the plant in order to avoid technogenic risks for the Moscow region.

A meeting of the supervisory board of VEB.RF, at which they will discuss the situation around the subsidiary of the state corporation, Angstrem-T, should take place on February 4, two people told Kommersant. The press service of the head of the supervisory board, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, refused to comment on the schedule of meetings.

VEB.RF became the sole shareholder of Angstrem-T, formerly owned by former Communications Minister Leonid Reiman, at the end of December 2018. Back in 2008, the company took a loan of € 815 million from VEB to purchase equipment and build a microchip plant, but was unable to pay off debts to the state corporation and other creditors. One of the reasons was the US sanctions restrictions, under which the company fell in 2016. In 2018, it was decided to convert the debt to VEB into authorized capital, after which the state corporation bought all Angstrem-T shares for 1 ruble, the source told Kommersant. Leonid Reiman remained the chairman of the board of directors. In January, Angstrom-T filed for bankruptcy, as it was said in VEB, with the aim of “financial recovery of the asset”.

Now Angstrem-T needs financing again - 3 billion rubles. for 2019, of which 644 million rubles. necessary in the first quarter, says one of the interlocutors “b”. At the end of 2018, the VEB.RF board decided on the terms of financing the project for an amount of no more than 3.4 billion rubles. This is the issue that should be discussed at the Supervisory Board, the source said. The state corporation is ready to issue half of this amount as a credit for operating activities this year: the limit will be 1.7 billion rubles, the interest rate will be 0.01% per annum, and the loan must be repaid by 2028. In addition, during the bankruptcy procedure underway, VEB.RF is ready to repurchase Angstrem-T’s debts from the company's key creditors - also in the amount of not more than 1.7 billion rubles. However, state corporations need guarantees that the money invested will be returned: they see a subsidy from the federal budget in VEB.RF. If, by March 1, the government does not provide such a guarantee, the state corporation is ready to suspend the enterprise, the Kommersant source says.

It will take up to one and a half months to preserve the plant and up to 160 million rubles, it provides for the retention of 50 employees (previously the number of employees exceeded 1 thousand people, actual data in the company is not disclosed) and the expenses of 21 million rubles. per month on the safety of the plant. According to preliminary calculations, the subsequent re-preservation will require one year and 3 billion rubles. Preservation should be a way to avoid accidents at work: for example, in mid-January, the company had already warned VEB.RF that due to lack of money an emergency shutdown of the plant could occur. This could lead to pollution of Zelenograd, in which the production is located, as well as of the Moscow Region, with hazardous gases used by the plant, and it would have been impossible to restore its operation after the accident, the source said.

Now the plant is operating in a regular mode, products are being shipped, negotiations are constantly being held with partners and potential consumers, the Angstrom-T press service told Kommersant, noting that the company's board of directors approved the budget for 2019. VEB.RF declined to comment.

According to one of the interlocutors of “Kommersant”, in the future VEB.RF is ready to sell the asset to investors, and if it does not, it will be transferred to the state in exchange for compensation for damages. A source familiar with the course of the discussion says that the main option now is to transfer Angstrem-T to the state, and from it to the core investor, confirming that VEB.RF is counting on compensation for its costs. He calls a possible conservation of the enterprise “a pessimistic scenario”, which is only formally referred to “in the minutes of some meetings”.