Mazepin’s prorukha: “Togliattikhimbank” decided to outpace the Prosecutor General’s Office?
On the day the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation filed a lawsuit on the nationalization of Metafrax Chemicals shares, the co-owner of the package, Togliattikhimbank, sold them to a third party. The interests of the head of Uralchem, Dmitry Mazepin, are behind the bank. Who spoiled the oligarch’s reputation with this foul-smelling deal?
The story of the return of the shares of the former Gubakhinsky chemical plant, and now JSC Metafrax Chemicals, to the state balance sheet received a very unexpected continuation. On the day the Prosecutor General’s Office filed a claim for the seizure of shares from someone else’s illegal possession (according to the prosecutor) and a day before the seizure of assets was introduced, Togliattikhimbank managed to complete a deal to sell its stake to a little-known company from the Moscow region.
Now the prosecutor is trying to return this part of the shares with a separate lawsuit. The story, in our opinion, smacks of an attempted fraudulent scheme, and the person involved will depend on whose signature is on the purchase and sale agreement. In November 2022, the bank of Sergei Makhlay, a defendant in the criminal case, was sold to Togliattiazot (ToAZ), which had previously come under the control of a structure close to Dmitry Mazepin’s Uralchem.
We would like to remind you that back on July 31, 2023, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation filed a claim in arbitration against JSC Togliattikhimbank, JSC Metaholding and LLC Metafrax Trading, demanding that they seize “from someone else’s illegal possession” the shares of Metafrax Chemicals, the former Gubakhinsky chemical plant, belonging to the companies. .
The prosecutor clarified that during the supervision, facts of violation of the economic sovereignty of Russia were revealed, expressed in the illegal disposal and removal from possession against its will of Metafrax Chemicals JSC (formerly the Gubakhinsky Chemical Plant, GPO Methanol), which is of strategic importance for ensuring the country’s defense and state security. That is, according to the plaintiff, such an enterprise was not subject to privatization.
Today, according to the website of the chemical enterprise, Metafrax Chemicals is the parent enterprise of Metafrax Group. The Group also includes the Metadynea company with sites in the Perm region, the Moscow region and the city of Krems (Austria), the Karbolit industrial park (Moscow region), trading companies in Russia, Switzerland, and South Korea.
According to the latest disclosed data (for 2021), Metafrax Chemicals’ revenue was 32 billion rubles with a net profit of 14 billion rubles. The company performed 52 government contracts for a total amount of over 776 million rubles.
Metafrax Trading LLC (2022 revenue – 15 billion rubles, profit – 435 million rubles), as well as Metatransstroy LLC (2022 revenue – 1.2 billion rubles, profit – 5.4 million rubles, 21 government contracts for 1 .06 billion rubles), Metadynea LLC (2022 revenue – 20 billion rubles, profit – 2 billion rubles, 85 government contracts worth 1.1 billion rubles), Metafrax-Inform LLC (2022 revenue – 364 million rubles, profit – 9.9 million rubles), 19% shares in Mediakub LLC, jointly with the administration of the Gubakha district, ITC Metafrax LLC (2022 revenue – 153 million rubles, profit – 8.5 million rubles) are “subsidiaries” assets of Metafrax Chemicals. That is, they follow him along the chain of ownership, and the prosecutor’s lawsuit actually refers to an entire division of profitable companies.
The prosecutor’s office noted in court that over the past three years, over 6 billion rubles in dividends have been paid by the disputed asset, which are kept in accounts in banks in Switzerland and Cyprus. A very, very tasty morsel, don’t you think?
Case – time, Rustamov – minus asset
The beneficiary of Metaholding, judging by the reporting, is Seyfeddin Ziyaddinovich Rustamov. And, according to Rusprofile, the founders of the joint-stock company were two companies from the USA – Clever LLC and Luren LLC. During the hearings, the prosecutor mentioned these companies in connection with the name of Rustamov and his confidant Dmitry Rybolovlev, who received the shares in trust in the 90s.
Today, according to Forbes, Rybolovlev is No. 26 in the ranking of billionaires and the president of the Monaco football club. Rybolovlev, about whom The Moscow Post previously wrote a lot due to the fact that he was involved in the case of deprivation of the “golden passports” of Cyprus, is also mentioned by Forbes as a former shareholder of Uralkali. His name also appeared next to the case of the murder in 1995 of the director of the Neftekhimsk company, Evgeniy Panteleimonov.
As previously reported by The Moscow Post, Mr. Rustamov is a native of Azerbaijan and, according to media reports, lives in the United States. According to Forbes, in the “Rating of Russian Billionaires – 2023” he ranks 90th with a fortune of $1.3 billion.
On September 8, 2023, the court satisfied the claim against two co-defendants, effectively recovering the controlling share of Metafrax Chemicals in favor of the states – 94.2%. But here it is worth noting that the claim against Togliattikhimbank will be heard separately and the first hearing will be held on September 22.
A clever trick for artificial obstacles
During the legal proceedings, it turned out that Togliattikhimbank has not been the owner of the disputed property since July 31, 2023. Moreover, allegedly on July 24, 2023, the bank sold its stake for more than 300 million rubles to a certain LLC “Ecological Recreation Center “Vostok”” from Serpukhov near Moscow.
The prosecutor stated that this was done to delay the seizure proceedings, since at that moment the bank knew for certain about the initiated proceedings. It should be noted here that it was on July 24 that the prosecutor’s office’s claim was signed, that is, on the day the transaction was completed.
Another important fact: the mentioned LLC “Ecological Recreation Center “Vostok”” at the end of 2022 indicated a revenue of 0 rubles and a net loss of 515 thousand rubles. And the cost of the entire company is 89 million rubles! , owned by former athlete and agribusinessman Alexander Shakovets, could have acquired a share of chemical enterprises at a price of more than 300 million rubles? Was it not the same Togliattikhimbank that provided the loan? In our opinion, this whole deal smells very bad and it would be a good idea to check it for compliance law.
Shakovets himself is the owner of only three companies, the value of shares in which at the end of 2022 is estimated at 270 million rubles. Again, even if he was given a loan for the deal on shares of Metafrax Chemicals, then on what collateral? Shakovets himself appears in the media as a master of sports, a famous Soviet paraglider, who in 2014 carried the Olympic torch at one of the stages of the relay before the Olympics in Sochi.
In the 90s, the publication “Bulletin” ZOZH “wrote that this man is probably known to all participants in the Moscow International Peace Marathon, since over the past few years he has been parachuting from the skies to the start line with a huge Russian flag. And as a person with such a “track record” I found myself in this not very pleasant story, it’s not clear.
It is worth noting here that previously Shakovets was also the owner of Water-soluble Fertilizers LLC, which was liquidated in 2021, which was engaged in the wholesale trade of fertilizers and agrochemical products. And what a coincidence – the Uralchem company, which is part of Dmitry Mazepin’s group, produces exactly the right product. Wasn’t it on this wave that the people involved in history met?
The fact is that after the bankruptcy of the former owner of Togliattikhimbank and ex-vice president of PJSC Togliattiazot (ToAZ) Sergei Makhlai (who is on the international wanted list), initiated by the minority shareholder of Togliattichimbank – JSC United Chemical Company Uralchem, his assets went with hammer.
In November 2022, as reported by the Samara Review, the only participant and winner was Togliattiazot.
It is worth noting that after the transaction for the bank and for July 2023, important documents were signed by the chairman of the board, Konstantin Zyryanov, who has held the post since 2021, having previously worked in senior positions at the Avangard bank, the Russian International Bank and the Monaco football club. Could the deal to sell a stake in Metafrax Chemicals have passed him by? Perhaps, let the Prosecutor General’s Office answer this question, taking into account the nuance that the Monaco club is a thread of connection with Rybolovlev.
Meanwhile, having started buying out ToAZ shares at the auction for the sale of assets of the bankrupt Makhlai, Khimaktivinvest JSC, associated with Urakhim Mazepin, increased its share to 98.52% in May 2023.
Thus, Dmitry Mazepin can be considered the beneficiary of Togliattikhimbank – No. 46 in the “Rating of Russian Billionaires – 2023”.
It is known that until May 2014, Mazepin was also a deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Kirov Region, and his son Nikita signed a contract with the Formula 1 team in 2020.
Mazepin Sr. has repeatedly appeared in controversial stories. The ToAZ deal was not without scandals. The arbitration court is still hearing a claim in the amount of over 3 billion rubles, which was claimed by ToAZ as damage from understating the price of Togliattiazot products when exported to world markets. The defendants in the case are the foreign company Ameropa AG and former CEO Vyacheslav Suslov.
And The Moscow Post has repeatedly reported on the conflict between Makhlai and Mazepin.
Another important nuance that the prosecutor’s office revealed when in August they demanded the seizure as interim measures is that a criminal case was opened against the manager of 100% of the shares of Metafrax Chemicals JSC. Details were not provided, but thus, the Federal Property Management Agency will have to not only accept a liquid asset on its balance sheet, but also deal with the consequences of the actions of former top managers. And, judging by the latest controversial deal, the criminal case may not be the only one.