PRESS: Renova asks for slew state support to counter sanctions
MOSCOW, May 3 (PRIME) -- Multi-industry holding Renova Group of tycoon Viktor Vekselberg has suggested state support for the sanctions-hit company that would create an individual environment for the firm ranging from refinancing of loans to a ban on imports of sodas and mineral water, Kommersant business daily reported on Thursday quoting sources.
On April 6, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of the Treasury of the U.S. blacklisted several companies and individuals, including Vekselberg.
Kommersant said that the list of suggested measures is long, including a request to state banks to refinance 820 million euros of loans issued by Western banks under a pledge of 26.5% shares in aluminum giant UC RUSAL without a peg to the market price of the stake as it does not reflect their fundamental value.
The company also asked for help in refinancing of up to 300 billion rubles of loans and bonds issued for RenovaТs subsidiaries, if the Western sanctions are expanded on them and they canТt service the debts.
Renova fears that Siemens and General Electrict will abandon their contracts for servicing of power equipment of the sanctioned companies, and suggested that the government free power producer T Plus from fines for shortfalls in power supplies.
T Plus also asked the government to УsettleФ the situation in the Komi Republic, where CEO Boris Vainzikher and Chairman of the board of directors Yevgeny Olkhovik were charged with bribery and put under house arrest in 2016. The company did not elaborate on details of the Уsettlement,Ф Kommersant reported.
In order to protect itself from the sanctions, Renova is even ready to sell T Plus to Gazprom Energoholding, a deal that was discussed in 2011 and under which Renova was to acquire a blocking stake in Gazprom Energoholding. The Federal Antimonopoly Service blocked the deal.
Besides that, Renova asked for preferences in acquisition of state orders for its industrial and developer assets and for different customs benefits, including prohibitive duties on goods imported by competitors of chemical company Khimprom, zero duties on imports of raw materials for the chemical company, restrictive duties on power equipment imported by competitors of Ural Turbine Works, and a full ban on imports of sodas to support beverage producer Baikal Holding.
A source familiar with the matter told the business daily that the list of suggestions is wide as the company had collected them from each of its subsidiaries. The government would only provide some support to keep jobs of the sanction-hit companies. Merger and acquisition deals, as well as measures of tariff and customs regulations, would only be the last resort, the source said.
The government and Renova Group declined to comment.
(61.9997 rubles Ц U.S. $1)