Uralkali may face problems due to the fact that under the sanctions Sergey Chemezov heads the board of directors of the company. The company first disclosed such a risk in the prospectus for the issue of Eurobonds.
Uralkali indicated Western sanctions against the chairman of its board of directors - the head of Rostec Sergey Chemezov - among the risks for the company listed in the prospectus for five-year Eurobonds (RBC has a copy).
Chemezov headed the board of directors of Uralkali in March 2014, and in April 2014 was on the US sanctions list SDN, in September 2014 - under European sanctions. The EU and the United States imposed sanctions on Russian citizens from enterprises after Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014.
Some counterparties may or may not want to be able to enter into transactions with the company, Uralkali indicates in the prospectus. At the same time, the presence of Chemezov on the board has not had a significant impact on business. The head of Rostec is an independent director and does not participate in the operations of the Uralkali group (including the issue of Eurobonds) or in the regular management of its activities, and the group is not under its control or management, the company indicates in the prospectus. The representative of Uralkali declined to comment.
The head of Rostec has also been on the Aeroflot board of directors since 2011, KamAZ since 2004, and since 2010 on the board of directors of AKB IFC Bank, which is owned by Mikhail Prokhorov, Viktor Vekselberg and Chemezov’s wife Ekaterina Ignatova. Representatives of Aeroflot, KamAZ, IFC and Rostec have not yet responded to a request from RBC.
For Uralkali, this is the second issue of Eurobonds in the history of the company and the first since the imposition of sanctions. For the first time, Uralkali - in the spring of 2013 - placed securities for $ 650 million with a yield of 3.7% per annum. Since then, the owners of the company have changed: now 20.3% of Uralkali is controlled by Dmitry Mazepin's Uralchem, 20.5% is owned by Dmitry Lobyak's Rinsoco Trading co Ltd, and 55.96% are quasi-treasury shares owned by the subsidiary Uralkali JSC Uralkali-Technology. In 2013, the owners of the company were businessmen Suleiman Kerimov, Zelimkhan Mutsoev, Anatoly Skurov, Filaret Galchev and the owner of the East group, Alexander Nesis.
At the end of the first half of 2019, Uralkali's net debt amounted to $ 4.7 billion, the ratio of net debt to EBIDA was 2.9. In 2020–2021, the company needs to return $ 2.7 billion to creditors, it follows from the prospectus.
The position of the chairman of the board of directors is regarded as very high, at the level of a top manager, said VTB Capital analyst Elena Sakhnova.
The “compliance offices” of Western funds (they check the compliance of the fund’s work with the requirements of the law, the rules of supervisory authorities, etc.) try to act as carefully as possible and not risk it, the analyst recalls. Most likely, there will be funds that refuse to participate in the placement of bonds, but it is unlikely that this decision will be massive and damage the placement of Uralkali, she adds. Uralkali has not yet encountered problems with American customers: the company has been selling potassium in the United States for five years since Chemezov appeared on the board of directors, Sakhnova concludes.