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Ust-Luga: the strategic Russian port floats to Marshall Islands?

Усть-Луга: стратегический российский порт уплывает на Маршалловы острова?

According to the state register, share of owners of the organization-creditor in bankruptcy of JSC “Transport logistics complex”, which owns the complex “Yug-2” at Ust-Luga port, was pledged to the offshore U.S. companies.


Ivan Petrovsky

In mid-December, RBC reported: well-known Petersburg businessman Ilya Traber has become the main co-owner, OOO “Novye Kommunalnye tekhnologii” (NKT) — secured creditor of OJSC “the Transport-logistic complex” (TLC), which owns the complex “Yug-2” at Ust-Luga port. According to SPARK, Ilya Traber is now 45%, OOO “Novye Kommunalnye tekhnologii”. Earlier this package was owned by the Cyprus “Dromana holding limited”. Shares of the other co-owners has not changed. So, Olga Bragina were 25% of the shares at Ramis Deberdeev is 7.5%, lawyers Sergey Pupko, Artem Runner and Andrei Danilenko, whom the media called the partner of Traber — also 7.5%.

However, the fact that the main owner of NKT was a Russian businessman, not a Cypriot firm, it does not entail any fundamental changes. Share holders of NKT now is pledged to the offshore company “maple woodland limited”, registered in the Marshall Islands associated with the United States. Businessman Traber, apparently, in no hurry to transfer the asset under the Russian jurisdiction, and Supervisory authorities seem not to notice that one of the biggest port of the country’s assets away at them from under his nose.

Recall that the tangled history of the bankruptcy and auction around the property of the TLC took place in the autumn of this year. TLK property complex in Ust-Luga is intended for the construction of port facilities, handling and placement of cargo on the territory of MPK “Yug-2”. And he is able to generate billions of dollars in revenue each year. This terminal – and in addition to it the right to rent land from the Rosmorrechflot Committee for property management of the Kingisepp district of the Leningrad region and Committee on natural resources of the Leningrad region – and try to put into “bidding”. Himself TLK, in the 2017th was declared bankrupt and was owned until recently, as the media wrote – Valery Izrailit. In November 2018, it became known that 76.55 per cent of the shares TLK consolidated JSC “holding company “Novotrans”.

Land plots in Ust-Luga port has a total area of almost 200 ha, multi-profile transshipment complex “Yug-2” with the engineering infrastructure with the railway tracks with a length of 3.3 km and highway 7.4 km, as well as equipment, administrative buildings are little more than RUB 10 billion In the September auction of the asset has caused a barrage of investor interest. Among other things, and JSC holding company “Novotrans”, the Cypriot company ACG Finance Limited and a private person –Maria Kudinov and others. Potential bidders are unable to access documents that would have revealed the encumbrance of TLK. They are associated with the lease agreements and sublease agreements, which are concluded by the bankruptcy Trustee TLK Andrey Marinichev with tubing. According to the newspaper “Kommersant” at the beginning of 2018, the year the tubing was bought through a chain of intermediaries debts TLK Sberbank of size at 5.2 billion rubles. Thus, NKT has received the status of a secured creditor and demanded additional interest for the use of borrowed funds, with the penalty, from-for what debts TLK has grown in 2 times, and the amount of loans rose to 10 billion rubles, said the merchant.

In addition, there is generally no information available for sublease of land plots, terms, amounts, etc. Neither the participants in the bankruptcy case of TLK, neither to third parties nor potential bidders unknown details of these agreements. Potential buyers have filed complaints to the FAS, which are stated gross violations by organizers of trading of the mandatory procedures. The sale of the property, the TLC is in the spring of 2018, but time after time the auction was cancelled – allegedly were not willing to buy the assets.

According to the complaint in UFAS was due to the fact that the organizer of auction on sale of property in Ust-Luga, OOO “Sputnik” has not provided potential participants with the necessary information and documents.

According to sources familiar with the situation, on account of TLK in the fall could begin to receive funds from the tubing for abandoned property to secured creditor. And this is in violation of the law and contrary to the prescription of the FAS. Then “Sputnik” was recognized the auction as failed, this means that the bankruptcy procedure as would be observed and it is possible on formal grounds TLK to transfer collateral to the lender.

In the chain of contracts with customers MPK Yug-2 has a new realtor – tubing. Now the cash flow on the way from the consumer to the creditor – TLK – eroded and deposited in the accounts of the tubing instead of repayment of debts before the state and normalization of MPK Yug-2, experts say. Note that TLK is one of the shareholders of JSC “Ust-Luga”. JSC “Ust-Luga” in turn, carries out transshipment of goods using the property received through the intermediary – tubing – lease from TLK for a song within an unreasonably signed the lease and sublease. That is, from the rental of property from TLK no income – all is deposited in the tubing. Now JSC “Ust-Luga” will not be normal cash flow from contracts for the provision of transshipment – the money will settle in the tubing. Thus, TLK, as a shareholder, and the state will not see their shares and will not be able to repay accounts payable, maintaining the status of the enterprise-the bankrupt. Moreover, the tubing using controlled of Directors of JSC “Ust-Luga” specially creates the conditions in which the work of the operator becomes impossible, with the aim of forcing shippers to transfer their contracts unfair to the creditor: so with JSC “Ust-Luga” was fired the entire staff, after which the head of the company he was sent to the regulatory authorities letter about a voluntary recall of private licenses – an action unthinkable from the point of view of normal operation of the enterprise.

From potential bidders at the St. Petersburg UFAS again received complaints that took into consideration the Central office back in Moscow. Surprisingly, in the FAS Russia, which should stand on guard of the state, acknowledged the complaints “unfounded.” It is obvious that the failed bidders and the new Russian shareholders will TLK to appeal the decision, according to “”.

Despite the fact that 23% of the shares of TLK are under the control of two state owners, that the shareholders of TLC has filed applications to the Prosecutor General and other state agencies with a request to investigate the situation with illegal actions of the organizers of the auction of the property of TLK, no movement on their part in this direction is not observed. It is striking that state agencies, regardless of the order of the President about increase of the export potential of the country, not to take absolutely no action. Maybe they are not so much worried about that strategic port near St. Petersburg goes to the jurisdiction of the USA? wonders edition of REGNUM.

The question, of course, rhetorical. Against the background of us sanctions and threats “to add momentum” in the economic war against Russia.

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