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Gref considers the behavior of the owner of Mechel inadequate

Mechel owner Igor Zyuzin has no control over the situation, the case is heading for bankruptcy, said German Gref, head of Sberbank, one of the metallurgical group's largest creditors.

“We see an inadequate behavior of the owner (Mechel Igor Zyuzin - approx ER) and I really want to hope that it will turn into some constructive channel. If it does not, then everything develops along the path of the company's bankruptcy. We have no other choice, ”German Gref told reporters yesterday.

According to him, Sberbank formed a 100% reserve for a loan to this company in October. “This, of course, hit our financial results very hard, throughout our company. Of course, we will do everything to ensure the return of our own funds in the shortest possible time, ”Gref said.

“I would put it mildly, the owner has a very rough command of the situation in the company, both financial and actual. The decisions that he made about starting the largest investment projects were, unfortunately, not very well calculated. And of course, the day-to-day management of the company requires very significant improvement. I can say today that at the moment there is no management in the company. The way it is managed can hardly be called management. We are extremely dissatisfied with the state of affairs in the company and the quality of management. But most importantly, I do not understand the owner's strategy, ”said German Gref.

“For a bank, the most difficult situation is when the bank does not understand the logic of the client and the client does not follow the logic of the bank. In fact, today banks are already the owner of the business, because the amount of debt that exists today, he is not only unable to return, he is not able to service it. Therefore, this requires urgent measures, anti-crisis measures in the company. And let's just say that responsible and serious people do not behave like that. We now mainly communicate with him (Zyuzin - ER) through the media, ”Gref said.

“The three of us were the president of VTB, the first deputy chairman of Gazprombank and me.

And on behalf of all three, we made him a fairly liberal offer to convert, at the current market value, part of our debt into shares, in the amount that is sufficient for the current debt service, and we offered him an option to buy out our share with a certain yield at any time as soon as he wants to redeem, even on the second day after the completion of the transaction. It is clear that if we do this kind of restructuring, shares and companies immediately rise significantly in value and the company acquires a completely different investment attractiveness. I am sure that it will be possible to find a buyer for the company, to attract an investor. "

When asked what Sberbank will do if Igor Zyuzin refuses to convert Mechel's debt into new shares, Sberbank President German Gref replied: “Today we see two possible ways out. The fact that the company does not service the debt, we have no other way but to collect in court and, after receiving court decisions, bankrupt the company. In case the owner suddenly shows some respect for his own team, if only because this is a softer and more stable path - converting debt into shares. I believe that we (the lenders' banks - ER) are doing him a great benefit by giving him the opportunity to convert part of our debt into company shares before the company sustains debt service.

Meanwhile, Mechel yesterday repaid the entire debt on interest to Sberbank in the amount of 1,5 billion rubles. Consequently, Sberbank has no grounds for collecting overdue debt in court, a Mechel representative told the media.

For the past six months, Mechel has been negotiating with creditors on debt restructuring. Gazprombank, VTB and Sberbank are not satisfied with the proposed plan. State banks, for their part, offer to convert $ 3 billion from almost $ 5 billion of debt to him into shares (Sberbank ($ 1,3 billion), VTB ($ 1,8 billion) and Gazprombank ($ 2,3 billion)), which does not suit the main owner of Mechel »Igor Zyuzin, whose share in this case will decrease to 10%. 52% of all Mechel's debt is in rubles, 69% is due to state-owned banks. At the end of September, VTB and Sberbank sued the company to claim about 4,5 billion rubles, thus making the first step towards bankruptcy.

On November 5, the Arbitration Court postponed to November 21 the preliminary hearing on VTB's claim against Mechel in the amount of 2,99 billion rubles. At the same time, Mechel itself filed a lawsuit against the bank against the creditor bank to change the terms of the loan agreement. According to the representative of the defendant, the counterclaim was motivated by a sharp drop in the price of its products, as well as by the fact that "Russian consumers are avoiding concluding contracts with him, which was impossible to foresee earlier." Mechel asks to amend the agreement regarding interest payments starting from March 2014. Otherwise, the lawyer emphasized, it could lead to bankruptcy of the enterprise.

Lawyers are skeptical about the prospects of Mechel's lawsuit against VTB. “In accordance with the Civil Code, Mechel may require the court to amend the loan agreement due to significantly changed circumstances, but this rule of law is rarely applied in practice and is practically inapplicable to the current situation,” Mikhail Ilyin, a lawyer for S&K Vertical, told the press ...

On November 10, the Arbitration Court of the Irkutsk Region appointed for December 15 a hearing on the claim of Sberbank against Mechel for the recovery of 21 rubles.

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