02/11/00 – Reuters Business Briefing
A Group of Trans-World Group affiliates who are shareholders of the Sayan Aluminium smelter intend to press on with their court battle to outlaw a decision to re-organize the smelter.
Alexander Merten, the lawyer for Greenslade Trading & Investment Ltd., Strongmen Holdings Ltd. and Wanion Investment Ltd., told Interfax that all three intended to appeal against a January 21 ruling on the matter by the Moscow Arbitration Court.
The three shareholders were protesting a postal vote in December which sanctioned the re-organization after the same court had banned the meeting. That court meeting was protested by the Russian Federal Property Fund and Sayan Aluminium.
The TWG affiliates are also continuing to dispute a share issue by the smelter in may 1998 which increased charter capital by 59% but diluted the stakes of the three foreign shareholders by more than half.
Merten said that Sayan Aluminium had thrown the court into confusion by stating the company did not exist any longer now that other shareholders had voted to split it up into two – Siberian Investment Company and Siberian Real Estate.
But Merten said the nature of the lawsuit had not altered and his clients intended to keep up the fight.
Sayan Aluminium is the head company of the Siberian Aluminium group whose press spokesman, Alexei Zlovedov, told Interfax the “TWG affiliates don’t have a chance of winning the case.” He said this was because TWG in 1998 declined to bid at an investment tender called by Siberian Aluminium and that, according to the Law on privatisation, had thereby deprived itself of the right to contest any future decisions on the structure and activity of Sayan Aluminium.
The Siberian Aluminium group of Aluminium smelters, fabricators and marketers dates back to 1997.
Originally, the group served to manage shareholdings in its members as a non-incorporated entity. The need for this arose when management at the time Sayan smelter and some other companies decided to dispense with the financial and intermediary services of Britain’s Trans-World Group. TWG at the time effectively controlled much of the FSU aluminium industry and trade.
However those companies working with TWG accused it of draining them of funds by charging too much for raw materials and charging too little for finished products.
SaAZ, for example, diluted its stock to weaken the companies via which TWG controlled the smelter.
By 1998, majorities in the Siberian Aluminium group’s enterprises had been shifted to the control of limited liability company called Aluminprodukt. A little later, Siberian Aluminium Group Ltd. (ZAO Gruppa Sibirsky Aluminii) was established, which controlled the group’s members via Aluminprodukt.
Then, in August 1999, AO Obyedinyonnaya kompaniya Sibirsky Aluminii (OKSA), or Siberian Aluminium Company was registered in the Republic of Khakasia to handle production and sales by and to finance the activity of the group’s members. Siberian Aluminium Company streamlined sales, which had been handled by a clutch of companies.
This time, the organizers setup a public stock company with a view to increasing the capitalization of members and, ultimately, the amount of investment it could raise.
Siberian Aluminium Company’s members are the Sayan aluminium smelters and Sayanskaya folga of Khakasia; Samara Metallurgical Plant, an aluminium fabricator from Samara; Rostar-Holding, which produces aluminium beverage cans near Moscow; Aluminium Construction Plant of Samara; and Resal, another Samara firm which recycles low-grade aluminium waste.
Siberian Aluminium Company’s charter capital is 5.99 billion roubles, consisting of 1-rouble shares, of which Siberian Aluminium Company owns 69.16%, and the offshore Gavrohe Investments Company Ltd. 112.61%, while ZAO Credit Suisse Boston Securities holds 14.14% on behalf of Britain’s Trans-World Group.
Copyright 2000 by Interfax International, Ltd.
Interfax news agency
Mining and metals report 11 / 02 / 2000