Alexander Moskalenko, who owned the production, sold it to the ZPIF Industrial Innovation Fund. The Russian assets of EPK went to the fund. Moskalenko himself had a plant in Kazakhstan and a stake in EPK-Brenko.
The Industrial Innovation Combined Closed End Mutual Fund is a relatively recent development. It has been listed in the register of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation since November 28, 2022, and the formation of the fund was completed by December 26. ZPIF invests in corporate securities of legal entities. As EPK itself explained to the federal edition, interest in bearings is due to innovative developments in this area. EPK will continue to work within the previously chosen business development strategy. The amount of the deal was not disclosed. It is only known that the company was bought at the expense of private investors – the fund’s shareholders. The assets, as Moskalenko himself assured, were valued according to the market and the price suited everyone.
EPK includes 3 large Russian bearing plants – in Saratov, Samara and the city of Volzhsky, Volgograd region. Thus, the EPK-Saratov plant now belongs to the ZPIF. EPK manufactures rolling bearings up to 2200 mm in diameter, the company has its own design office and trading house. On the basis of all plants there are training centers for personnel training. All EPK plants in Russia are managed by a specially created management company JSC “UK EPK”. The revenue of EPK Saratov in 2021 amounted to 2.1 billion rubles, but since 2019 the plant has been operating at a loss, which has just begun to reduce. In 2020, the company received 373 million rubles of net loss, in 2021 it decreased to 155.3 million. The plants in Samara and Volzhsky worked in plus, and the revenue of each of them in 2021 exceeded 3 billion rubles.
At the same time, the situation with Saratov bearings is interesting: since Alexander Moskalenko retained his share in EPK-Brenko, he will continue to produce products in Saratov. At the same site in the Zavodskoy district, 2 plants operate at once – EPK-Saratov and EPK-Brenko Bearing Company. EPK-Brenko was a joint production with the American company Amsted Rail, but a year ago, against the backdrop of new sanctions, it announced its withdrawal from Russian business and, according to Moskalenko himself, the share of American owners was bought out by some “portfolio investors”.
EPK-Brenko produces a new generation of cassette bearings designed for the railway industry. It is the main component of the new railway wagons with increased axle load. Only in January 2022, the Saratov region signed a special investment contract with EPK-Brenko, the company intended to introduce the technology for manufacturing a new tapered bearing in the region and invest 2.2 billion rubles in production until 2025. But the foreign policy situation could confuse these plans. According to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, Amsted Rail withdrew from the enterprise back in 2021, it was replaced by the Dutch offshore AMSTED RAIL-EPK BEARING B.V., which is still listed as the owner of the enterprise. The company’s revenue in 2021 was significantly higher than that of EPK-Saratov – 4.1 billion rubles with a net profit of 500 million rubles.
Now the ultimate beneficiaries of the EPK-Saratov plant are safely hidden. This is ensured by the very structure of the closed-end mutual investment fund and the principle of its activity. Any mutual investment fund includes a property complex and securities. The management company acts as the nominal owner of the assets, and the fund’s shareholders have the same powers as the shareholders and receive benefits depending on the value of the mutual fund’s property. The main feature of asset management through such a fund is the complete confidentiality of data on shareholders. The management company makes all the necessary explanations for third parties, and the fund participants do not appear anywhere.
Reference. Alexander Moskalenko is a major Russian businessman, from 2009 to 2017 he served as Chairman of the Association of Bearing Manufacturers, since 2012 – Chairman of the Board of EPK JSC. Federal publications call Moskalenko a business partner of Oleg Savchenko, a member of the State Duma of several convocations, whom federal publications call the main beneficiary of YPC. It is known that in 2008 Savchenko lobbied for the creation of bearing production together with Amsted Rail in Saratov. Since 2017, Alexander Moskalenko and his partners have had about 30% of the Russian registrar market at their disposal. Now Moskalenko owns 50% in the authorized capital of NRK – R.O.S.T. Holding”.