The FAS approved the petition of Dmitry Pumpyansky's Pipe Metallurgical Company for the purchase of Andrey Komarov's Chelyabinsk Pipe-Rolling Plant (ChTPZ). The anti-monopoly authorities approved a similar petition to the Zagorsk Pipe Plant (ZTZ), Denis Safin, but he no longer claims to ChTPZ. Behind the latter, according to rumors, stood lawyer Nikolai Yegorov, who in the "battle" for ChTPZ lost to Arkady Rotenberg, who apparently works with Pumpyansky. And here it is worth remembering that earlier, Mr. Komarov more than once fell under the gun of law enforcement officers and even sat under house arrest, and now suddenly his affairs have improved. And, as evil tongues assure, allegedly Mr. Pumpyansky is "forgiven" a lot. Is it because two industrialists sided with the influential Rotenberg?
The deal for the purchase of ChTPZ by Pipe Metallurgical Company is to take place in March-April. According to Kommersant, the plant is already preparing for it in full: on the eve of its possible sale, it decided to withdraw from the perimeter the oil service business - the Rimera group of companies, which accounts for more than 15% of the pumping equipment market for oil production in the Russian Federation.
ZTZ, which had previously applied for the plant, intends to focus on the construction of its own production of oil and gas pipes and does not consider the merger deal as a scenario for expanding the business. But back in July last year, ZTZ and ChTPZ announced plans to create an industrial group to provide the fuel and energy complex with pipe and related products. According to the plan, the main shareholder of ChTPZ Andrey Komarov, together with partners, was to enter the capital of Safin's company with a 50% share. However, why was this decision suddenly "rolled back"?
Behind Safin is lawyer Nikolai Yegorov, a shareholder of ZTZ, who for some reason is called a classmate of President Vladimir Putin. Pumpyansky, apparently, can cooperate with Arkady Rotenberg. It turns out that two influential figures in Russia "fought" for the enterprise, and the last one won?
Chose my side
In this case, Pumpyansky and Rotenberg managed to lure Komarov over to their side. According to the authors on the Nezygar Telegram channel, the President of the Business Council of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), ex-Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Khristenko, who is considered Komarov's patron, was allegedly the mediator in the negotiations on the merger of assets. According to rumors, it was thanks to Khristenko that Komarov received ChTPZ in due time.
It is quite possible that Komarov went to cooperate with Pumpyansky and Rotenberg in order to "throw off" criminal suspicions - the businessman was already a defendant in the criminal case. As RBC wrote, in March 2014, the entrepreneur, together with his lawyer, was detained while trying to bribe an employee of the FSUE Promresurs, who learned about violations when receiving from the budget almost 1.8 billion rubles of one of the companies controlled by ChTPZ. Komarov and his lawyer allegedly tried to bribe the official by offering 300 thousand dollars. As a result, the businessman spent a year under house arrest, and in 2016 the case suddenly "stalled" and he was released.
Remarkably, Mr. Komarov did not demand any compensation for this. Apparently, he was quite satisfied with how his "accusers" paid off? According to Kommersant, in 2018 ex-employee of the GUEBiPK Ministry of Internal Affairs Sergei Astafurov and General Director of FSUE Promresurs Vladimir Spiridonov were behind bars. There was talk, they say, that the now retired Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika himself could have helped organize such a "revenge" on the businessman. In that case, I suppose, Khristenko asked him?
In parallel with all these criminal stories, the situation at ChelPipe itself worsened - now the enterprise is heavily credited, and many of its structures are in "minuses". In 2019, ChelPipe and MKB signed an agreement for 4 billion rubles for 3 years, and then the plant issued Eurobonds for $ 300 million to cover debts. Earlier, Komarov attracted a loan from VTB for 15 billion rubles. The company also has loans from Sberbank and Gazprombank. According to Vedomosti, as of 2018, net debt amounted to 68.4 billion rubles. Will Mr. Komarov leave such a "legacy"? Post.
However, despite such "merits", now the affairs of Komarov have straightened out. He even recently got hold of a new asset: as RBC wrote, in May last year, Canadian Barrick Gold, which had been working in Russia since 2001, sold a license for a palladium deposit in the Murmansk region. The buyers were Rostec and Oleg Seleznev, who worked for 15 years as the director of ChTPZ. Seleznev did not get into the new board of directors of ChTPZ, elected in February 2020, however, according to rumors, he is still working in conjunction with Komarov.
Presumably, such a "present" to Komarov could have been organized by Pumpyansky and Rotenberg? And that is why CheTPZ is now being transferred to TMK's structures?
Not for the first time on the same "field"
Apparently, Pumpyansky and Rotenberg can work together from 2019. That year, the FAS allowed the structure associated with Translom, which is associated with the interests of Arkady and Igor Rotenberg, to buy a business for collecting scrap metal from Dmitry Pumpyansky's Sinara group - TMK Chermet. Then it caused some concern: State Duma deputy Sergei Marinin opposed the deal, who believed that it could make Translom a monopoly on the market, RBC wrote.
However, his fears were in vain: just a couple of days after the decision of the antimonols, the little-known Epsilon company, which sources in the market connected with the former suppliers of scrap metal for TMK, tried to challenge him, filed a lawsuit with the Moscow Arbitration Court demanding to cancel the FAS permission for the deal. Wasn't Yegorov trying to set up a "bandwagon" for businessmen in this way?
According to the arbitration file, Epsilon's claim was ultimately denied. Therefore, now "Translom" can go to "TMK-Chermet".
Moreover, the "entry" can be reciprocal. The fact is that the share of the only Translom founder, Kronos LLC, displayed in Rusprofile, dropped to 10% at the beginning of this year. Is it possible that the "clearing" has been cleared for "Sinara"? In this case, Pumpyansky with Rotenberg can really become a monopoly on the scrap market. And, given the news about ChTPZ, and at the pipe.
Pumpyansky, of course, such cooperation is very beneficial: now his business is "drowning" in debt, and the "SKB-Bank" controlled by him demonstrates deplorable performance. Rumors have long spread rumors that he is preparing to sell it. By the way, all 100% of shares owned by Pumpyanskiy JSC Sinara are pledged by Gazprombank. It turns out that the billionaire may not even have funds for the likely purchase of ChelPipe?
At the same time, Pumpyansky's companies have long been among the leaders in state orders in Russia. In particular, he received many projects within the framework of the upcoming Universiade-2023 in Yekaterinburg. In 2018, the construction companies of the billionaire even surpassed Arkady Rotenberg himself, earning 173 billion rubles. What if it's because they've actually been working together for a long time? Earlier, The Moscow Post wrote about this in detail.
In the fight against Yegorov, Rotenberg could attract a businessman as a partner, who now really needs money. It is not the first time these two mastodons have been fighting for assets.