Renova will lose control in the Swiss Sulzer

The Swiss engineering company Sulzer will buy from the company Victor Vekselberg 5 million of its shares because of sanctions against the Russian businessman by the US Treasury.
The Swiss engineering company Sulzer has entered into an agreement with Renova billionaire Viktor Vekselberg (Forbes estimates his fortune at $ 14.4 billion) about the repayment of 5 million of its shares, the Sulzer press service reported. As a result of the transaction, the share of "Renova" in the capital of the Swiss company will decrease from 63.42 to 48.83%.

Sulzer decided to buy back its own shares in order to reduce the possible consequences for its business because of US sanctions against the Russian company. It is planned that the deal will be closed within a week. Sulzer will acquire shares at their weighted average price on the Swiss Stock Exchange from 9 to 13 April 2018, the report said. In this case, the Swiss will only pay with Vekselberg after they are convinced that the redemption of shares does not carry sanctions risks for Sulzer. "Sulzer is in close contact with the authorities and believes that this deal will mitigate any concerns regarding the independence of Sulzer from the Renova group," the press service of the engineering company stresses.

Renova owns stakes in other major Swiss companies - OC Oerlikon and Schmolz + Bickenbach, but they do not have control over them. Thus, automatically American sanctions on these assets do not apply. A spokesman for Oerlikon previously told the Swiss edition of Tages Anzeiger that the company is studying the documentation of the US Treasury. Schmolz + Bickenbach is also in the process of assessing the possible impact of sanctions. "Whether the sanctions for the participation of Mr. Vekselberg in our company influence, we do not know yet. Our lawyers are studying whether this is so and what are the consequences for us, "said Ulrich Steiner, representative of Schmolz + Bickenbach. The edition specifies that Vekselberg is a shareholder of another Swiss company - Zublin, which deals with real estate.

The owner of Renova Viktor Vekselberg came under new Washington sanctions on April 6. In total, the US Ministry of Finance included in the new sanctions list 26 people and 15 companies, among them seven "Russian oligarchs", the US department said. The American side explained the new restrictive measures against Russia by the situation in Ukraine, in Syria, and also by cyberattacks. But the key reason, according to the US authorities, is "Russia's attempts to undermine Western democracy."

In addition to Vekselberg, the main owner of UC Rusal Oleg Deripaska, Senator Suleiman Kerimov, State Duma deputy and co-owner of USM Holdings Andrei Skoch, co-owner of the Surgutneftegaz oil and gas company Vladimir Bogdanov, son of Arkady Rotenberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the managing company "Enpivi Engineering" Igor Rotenberg Kirill Shamalov, co-owner of Sibur.

The new sanctions are not only applied to the persons involved in the list, but also against their counterparties, if they carried out "significant transactions" in the interests of sub-authorized persons. In particular, contractors are prohibited from exporting goods from the United States, receiving financial services in the US and attracting financing with the participation of the American side.