Pumpyansky will not “rust”: the oligarch’s business is in debt, and he is planning new takeovers?
The Russian Stainless Company (RNC) will take part in the competitive selection for the right to conclude a special investment contract (SPIC 2.0) with the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
According to the correspondent of The Moscow Post in the Volgograd region, we are talking about a joint venture between the Pipe Metallurgical Company (TMK) of Dmitry Pumpyansky and the Chelyabinsk Electrometallurgical Plant (CHEMK) of Yuri Antipov, our publication wrote about this topic in detail earlier. Pumpyansky could have decided to cooperate with Antipov for a reason – recently the businessman has been buying up assets, and ChEMK, which is suffering financial difficulties, may come in handy for him.
At the same time, it is not yet very clear at whose expense Pumpyansky is scaling up the business. Over the past year, he managed to get loans, TMK’s revenue collapsed by as much as 28%, there is no hint that the situation will improve in the near future. Why are Pumpyansky’s appetites growing?
It should be noted that Pumpyansky himself told journalists about the intention of the RNC to get the SPIK. A joint venture for the production of rolled products from stainless grades TMK and ChEMK is planned to be built in the Volgograd Region. It should appear at the site of the Volga Pipe Plant (part of TMK), ChEMK, as a partner, intends to provide the complex with ferrochromes. This became known last spring.
Meanwhile, the meetings between Pumpyansky and Antipov, where they discussed the creation of a joint venture, became known back in 2020. Ura.ru wrote that the entrepreneurs also negotiated with the authorities of the Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk regions. Does this mean that it was about some other projects?
around and around
True, at that time it was noted that the situation did not look so unambiguous – many issues had not been resolved. For example, 50% of ChEMK belonged to Alexander Aristov. According to some information, when Aristov found out about the project to create a joint venture with Pumpyansky, he offered his share to Antipov.
Ultimately, towards the end of 2020, Aristov and Antipov, who worked side by side for many years, finally shared their assets. The first received the Ariant agricultural holding and the wine business, as well as compensation for the difference in the value of assets, and the second received the metallurgical division, which includes ferroalloy plants with enterprises that provide them with raw materials, and port infrastructure in the Far East.
It cannot be said that Antipov got a very “tidbit” piece – there were enough problems at the same ChEMK. In particular, residents of Chelyabinsk are indignant at the fact that it is CHEMK that is primarily responsible for the statistics on cancer in the region. One of the reasons is the increased concentration of benzopyrene. The highest pollution rates were found in the zone of influence of Chelyabinsk Electrometallurgical Plant OJSC. Because of this, the company has repeatedly attracted the attention of supervisory authorities, there were courts, which The Moscow Post wrote about in detail.
After the redistribution of assets between Aristov and Antipov, Metaglomerat “got the most” – the plant was first suspended due to interruptions in raw materials, and then completely closed for conservation. A scandal broke out, because hundreds of employees were left without work. As a result, the dissatisfied were offered to find a job at other enterprises of the ChEMK group or quit by agreement of the parties. The situation even reached the authorities – a special commission was created under the government of the region to discuss the problems of the enterprise.
But no matter how many commissions were sitting, things at the enterprise did not improve very much. And although, according to Rusprofile, ChEMK is a profitable asset, one gets the feeling that these figures exist only on paper. Moreover, during the time of Aristov’s active participation in business, he constantly received funding from the budget. He left, and the “faucet” seemed to be turned off almost immediately.
Where does the money come from?
And then Pumpyansky appeared, who probably looked closely at CHEMK before. Yes It cannot be ruled out that the creation of a joint venture may be just a step towards a full-fledged merger. And here it is worth noting that brothers work for entrepreneurs – Pavel Khodorovsky is the general director of ChEMK, and Mikhail Khodorkovsky is the general director of the Sinara group, chairman of the strategic development council of PJSC SKB-bank. So it turns out that Pumpyansky and Antipov are connected almost by family ties!
In this situation, it is quite possible to believe in Pumpyansky’s possible desire to get control over ChEMK, because he has been actively scaling up his business lately. Undoubtedly, one of the largest transactions of the past year was the acquisition by PJSC Pipe Metallurgical Company (TMK, Dmitry Pumpyansky) of an 86.54% stake in PJSC Chelyabinsk Pipe Rolling Plant (ChTPZ) from its main shareholder Andrei Komarov.
It was then that conversations began that behind Pumpyansky the silhouette of the “omnipotent” Rotenbergs, who allegedly helped him to “persuade” Komarov, could loom.
Apparently, Pumpyansky and Rotenberg can interact from 2019. That year, the FAS allowed a structure associated with Translom (which, in turn, is associated with the interests of Arkady and Igor Rotenberg), to acquire TMK Chermet, a scrap metal collection business from the Sinara group of Dmitry Pumpyansky.
Such cooperation can be very beneficial for Pumpyansky: now his business is “drowning” in debt, and SKB-Bank, which he controls, is showing deplorable performance.
By the way, all 100% of the shares of Sinara, owned by Pumpyansk JSC, at the time of the preparation of the deal with Komarov, were pledged to Gazprombank. It turns out that the billionaire did not have his own funds to buy ChelPipe?
Probably for this reason, he began to collect even more loans. First, Alfa-Bank provided Dmitry Pumpyansky’s Pipe Metallurgical Company (TMK) with a loan of 25 billion rubles for 5 years to purchase an 86.54% stake in the ChTPZ group, the bank said. A couple of months later, Gazprombank provided the Seversky Pipe Plant (part of TMK) with a loan in the amount of 16.01 billion rubles for a period up to December 30, 2025. And at the very end of 2021, TMK signed an agreement with the Moscow Credit Bank (MCB) to provide a “green” loan for up to 36 months.
Thus, Pumpyansky seriously increased his debt burden. What can not be said about the profitability of his offspring. According to the company’s report for 2020, revenue decreased by 28% compared to the previous year and amounted to 222.6 billion rubles. Adjusted EBITDA1 for 2020 decreased by 2% compared to 2019 and amounted to RUB 42.5 billion. The ratio of net debt to adjusted EBITDA as at 31 December 2020 was 2.32 times.
All the more surprising against the background of this state of affairs are the appetites of Pumpyansky, who has already acquired ChTPZ and is probably eyeing ChEMK. It is possible that the next in line is Viktor Rashnikov’s Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK), with whom TMK cooperates on various projects.
And this asset for Pumpyansky can be even more attractive: earlier The Moscow Post noted that Rashnikov’s business is going very well, in 2020 the plant earned 52 billion rubles of net profit with a revenue of 400 billion rubles.
And if, indeed, Pumpyansky threatens both ChEMK and MMK, then it is easy to guess where he can try to find money. Or is it again left to hope for the support of the Rotenbergs with Gazprombank? …