Source The court confirmed the transit and withdrawal of funds by KEMZ. The shareholders and managers of the Karpinsk-based company are demanding compensation. The Karpinsk Electro-Machine Building Plant (KEMZ), the city’s major employer in Karpinsk, is plunging into losses, amid a protracted corporate conflict. The industrial site, a partner of the Russian heavy engineering giant, has been showing consistently negative figures this year, indicating a drop in production, significant reputational damage, problems with banks, and destabilized financial and economic activity. In the meantime, the courts have confirmed the schemes with transit and embezzlement of funds on the part of the group of one of the KEMZ shareholders, and its opponents in the lawsuits are attributed with criminal charges causing damage in the tens of millions for the Sverdlovsk electric machine builders. In addition, representatives of the majority shareholder of KEMZ insist on invalidation of transactions and recovery of hundreds of millions from the Saint Petersburg firm that was mentioned in the FTS investigations. The tax authorities themselves also point to the claims, on the industrialists’ money, while the millions are being sought from the beneficiaries and management of the mining equipment manufacturer, “which is constantly being shaken by new financial conflicts”. Be that as it may, for the population of deeply depressed Karpinsk this conflict is more than a shock.
The Seventeenth Arbitration Court of Appeal confirmed the verdict in the dispute around the obligations of Karpinskiy Electro-Machine Works (KEMZ). Earlier the Court of First Instance invalidated the transfer of more than 64 million EUR from LLC Electromash in favour of LLC CB Koltso Urala (owned by PJSC Moskovsky Credit Bank) under the agreement between the financiers and KEMZ.
Moreover, the relevant consequences were applied: obligations under the loan agreement were recognised as terminated, and Electromash’s rights of claim under the pledge agreement were recognised as not having arisen.
In the appeal, representatives of KEMZ tried to insist that the court had not assessed all the arguments.
“As a result of a corporate conflict at 1Capital, it (KEMZ. – Ed.) encountered financial difficulties in repaying its debt to Ring of Urals, in connection with which it negotiated with another bank about the possibility of lending and correspondence with the company Electromash about getting a loan, however, the court did not assess these arguments, indicating only the repayment of debt , did not assess the reasons for the third party to pay the debt, did not assess the arguments that it was the actions of Bakirov R.M. (director of 1Capital) and N.V. Kupaeva (mother of Bakirov), who fully control the activities of 1Capital, led to the financial difficulties of KEMZ,” reads the position of the appellant.
The lawyers also objected to the conclusions of the court that KEMZ is affiliated with Electromash and that Electromash is under the control of Natalia Yakunina, one of the shareholders of the electromechanical plant. “These conclusions were made by the court with reference to the tax audit materials, which, according to KEMZ, are not evidence in the case,” the court noted.
Representatives of Electromash held a similar position. They disagreed with the first instance court’s conclusion that KEMZ could independently fulfil its obligations under the loan agreement, referred to the unfounded conclusion that “payment under the loan agreement was made at the expense of KEMZ”, referring to the loan agreement with “Itcom” and spoke of the unproven links with Yakunina.
The appeal, however, rejected this version and agreed with the conclusions that there was a transit scheme of sale of the Sverdlovsk company’s products between KEMZ and Electromash as a result of which the funds of KEMZ were withdrawn to Electromash.
“The Court agrees with the findings that confirms the existence of an abuse of right in the concerted actions of Electromash, Yakunina N.Ya. and the company KEMZ, aimed at repaying the debt of the latter under the loan agreement, in order to obtain rights of claim against the company itself and its guarantors, including 1Capital, as well as to obtain rights under the pledge agreements in relation to a significant amount of property owned by KEMZ and used in its business activities”, follows from the Perm court ruling.
It should be added that these proceedings are an important part of the corporate conflict which is developing at Karpinsk, the city-forming enterprise. The parties thereto are the members of 1Capital LLC, the majority shareholder of KEMP: Natalia Yakunina and her son Oleg Yakunin who is listed in the financial statements as a member of the KEMP Board of Directors on the one hand, and the other member of 1Capital, Natalia Kupaeva supported by her son, Ruslan Bakirov, former Chair of the KEMP Board of Directors, on the other.
While Yakunina’s group was credited with the aforementioned schemes, Bakirov’s opponents claimed a criminal case had been opened against him.
“KEMZ is recognized as a victim in the criminal case against R.M. Bakirov; as a result of Bakirov’s scheme of personal enrichment at the expense of OJSC the latter has suffered losses of over 80 million rubles”, stated one of the parties to the conflict.
In a conversation with the newspaper, the lawyers involved in the dispute earlier insisted that the case is relevant and spoke of “Bakirov’s strange position regarding the bankruptcy claims against KEMZ”.
We should add that a whole list of proceedings between the parties to the conflict is now ongoing. In particular, the court is examining claims of KEMZ represented by 1Capital to Sattarov Radik Ibleaminovich, Yakunina Natalia Yakovlevna and Yakunin Vyacheslav Valerievich to acknowledge the deals invalid and to recover losses amounting to 10.38 million rubles.
At the same time, numerous conflicts unambiguously affect the operations of the city-forming enterprise, which is noted in the reports.
“Corporate and property litigation involving the company initiated by 1Capital and Bakirov R.M. , and as a consequence: destabilisation of activities, reputational damage , refusals of banks to provide a credit line and refinancing, shortage of working capital , difficulty in timely repayment by the company of contractual obligations to pay suppliers for delivered products, decline in production”, – follows from the documents.
The problems can also be seen from the financial results. For example, according to Kontur.Focus, KEMZ posted a net loss of 127.7 million in 2021, while previously it had posted a profit. The industrial enterprise also showed negative financial results for 3.6 and 9 months of 2022. Thus, at the end of September, the loss amounted to 48.2 million.
According to Contour.Focus, the average number of employees at KEMZ in 2021 was 457.
Officially, the main consumers of the asset’s products include such major companies as Russian Railways, SUEK, Rosneft and others. But the company’s 2022 reports list Korobkov IZ-KARTEX LLC (St. Petersburg), Rudgormash CJSC (Voronezh), and others as its main customers. The document also notes that some of the company’s products are exported.