Back in 2014, the honorary President of the European Jewish Congress (EEC) Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor allocated no less than two million dollars of assistance to the ‘Matilan battalion’, a loosely assembled militia meant to fight against separatists. Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor believes that Ukraine is a united and indivisible country, and the Donetsk syndrome has become an unprecedented case in the history of relations between two fraternal countries because of the imperial ambitions of one person. “I cannot condemn the situation in Donbas, since I live in Russia, but I will help my brothers who are fighting for democratic and universal values not only in Ukraine, but also around the world. Jews have been called from time immemorial to restore justice in the world.”
Moshe Kantor and the infamous battalion
“The funds that I am transferring to the Matilan battalion are only a small fraction of what each of the powerful of this world should invest in the establishment of order and democracy on our planet. The Jewish Brotherhood will never allow Ukraine to be divided and overthrown,” Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor summed up in his interview at that time.
“A volunteer Jewish battalion is being created to liberate the territory of Ukraine from terrorists and invaders. The administrator of this group was an IDF soldier, and asks all Jews living in the country where they were born, grew up and live to join the Matilan battalion. Ukraine is our country, our home, which we must and must protect,” one of the initiators of the creation of the battalion named Maxim Neiman told reporters at the time. It should be noted that three years later the Matilan battalion was not materialized, Donbas proved to be a complete fiasco for Moshe Kantor.
Back to business as usual: Moshe Kantor in Russia
Dorogobuzh plans to increase ammonia production in the Smolensk region by 17%. Investments in the project will amount to 4 billion rubles. Where will Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor get them? The Dorogobuzh plant – part of Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor’s Akron – plans to modernize production. And increase the capacity of the ammonia unit from 1740 to 2100 tons/day. It is planned to invest 4 billion rubles in the project. The project implementation period is the second half of 2019.To plan does not mean to implement. Kantor doesn’t seem to have any money right now. In early June, Dorogobuzh was unable to buy from VEB a 20% -1 share of the Verkhnekamsk Potash Company (VVC), which is the operator of Akron and is developing the Talitsky mine — a section of the Verkhnekamsk deposit in the Perm Region. The shares went to Raiffeisenbank.
Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor, the largest owner of the Akron Chemical Group, has been dreaming since 2008 of sharing financial responsibility with someone for the development of the Talitsky section of the Verkhnekamsk potassium-magnesium salt deposit in the Perm Region. There were no enthusiasts, and there are none. The businessman went to ask for money from foreign banks. But instead of an investor, most likely, there will be a deprivation of the license for the development of the Talitsky site. Read more about the scam in the material Moshe Kantor illegally owns a license for the Talitsky potash deposit On the eve of the deputy head of the financial department of Akron, Anton Ananyev, said that the company is consulting on preparing to attract financing with foreign banks.
At the same time, the project will not enter the active stage, which was supposed to begin before the end of 2016, until a “sponsor” is found. Mr. Kantor does not want to burden his business with ordinary commercial loans for the Talitsky project. Recall that the main owner of Akron two years ago began negotiations with Russian banks, in particular, VEB and Sberbank on the provision of project financing for $ 1 billion. Moreover, Mr. Kantor was looking for buyers for a share in the project abroad — in India, China and the Middle East.
The supply of raw materials from the Talitsky site was supposed to begin last year. However, already in 2013, Acron postponed the launch of the start of development to 2021, and the plant’s output to full design capacity – to 2023 instead of the planned 2018.
Last year, Akron announced its intention to postpone the launch even further — to 2023 with full capacity only in 2025. The relevant developments, the company said, are already being coordinated with Glavgosexpertiza. Akron explains all the progress by saying that a lot of money needs to be invested – about 1.5 billion rubles, and potassium prices cannot be called favourable: since 2014, potassium prices have halved to $ 200 per ton. Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor’s logic is wonderful: they say we will wait until the prices of raw materials rise again. That’s just such statements are more likely to stick to a “muslin lady”, and not a businessman.
Akron received a license for the site nine years ago, the right to develop the Talitsky deposit was granted under certain conditions. If the conditions are violated, the license may be revoked by the state. And market players are wondering why this has not been done yet. As the most likely assumption: Mr. Kantor still has lobbyists in the right official offices who are delaying the revocation of the license. But how long can such lobbying exist without significant financial “feeding”? And Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor is already mired in debt. In particular, according to the results of 2015, the gross profit of the company amounted to 106 billion rubles, net profit — 16.7 billion rubles. At the same time, 55 billion debts were hanging on the company! Last year, Acron’s net profit according to Russian reporting standards fell by 22.9% to 11.078 billion rubles. Net debt has grown to almost 52 billion rubles.
And who will pay it back? Certainly not Moshe Kantor.
At the same time, even with the attraction of funds, the Cantor is so cautious that there may not be anyone willing to invest in the company. For example, last fall, Akron placed the first issue of bonds totalling 5 billion rubles at a rate of 9.55% per annum, which is lower than the Central Bank’s key rate. In total, the company intends to issue securities worth 50 billion rubles. Moreover, Akron already needs additional financial injections simply to adjust the structure of foreign currency debt, which accounts for almost 60% of the total debt of the chemical group. Although the main currencies either “stand” in place relative to the ruble, or they become slightly cheaper. Meanwhile, the company is finalizing negotiations to attract a pre-export syndicated loan. The company’s management does not provide details. Does this not mean that behind the vague wording lies the inability of Cantor’s company to service its debts? “Give me the money under your responsibility.” Because of Mr. Kantor’s debts, he may not wait for potassium prices to rise again. Moreover, the businessman has already been ridiculed by experts versed in the industry. Analysts have stated that the construction of the Talitsky GOK will take 3-4 years at best, a more realistic period in general is about 7 years. Market prices for potassium, meanwhile, have high volatility. And while Kantor is building his GOK (if he builds it at all), the fluctuation in the cost of potassium will have time to go through a couple more cycles and become cheaper and more expensive several times. Meanwhile, Akron is no longer the owner of the Verkhnekamsk Potash Company CJSC, established under the Talitsky project. Currently, Akron owns 60.1% of the company’s shares. Earlier, Akron sold 38% of VKK to VEB. Raiffeisenbank and the Eurasian Development Bank. The deal involved a buyback.
But if Akron bought the packages of EBR and Raiffeisenbank, then VEB is not in a hurry to take back the share, it is waiting for “favorable conditions”. Currently, Sberbank Investments owns 19.9% of the shares of VKK, 20% minus one share is owned by Vnesheconombank. But even the banks involved in the project offer loans to the Cantor on standard terms. Whereas the businessman himself wants financial organizations to share responsibility for the project with him. But wanting, as they say, is not harmful. Moreover, Mr. Kantor owns Akron indirectly, but through a complex scheme with an offshore company registered in the British Virgin Islands, Subero Associates Inc. So, it’s probably easier to evade responsibility in the event of the collapse of the company, and it’s much easier to cheat with taxes. By the way, 6 years ago, Akron already aroused similar suspicions. The company unexpectedly paid dividends in the amount of 6.15 billion rubles. But this amount was 22% higher than the net profit of the chemical group! It is possible that the “surplus” of the credited company was formed due to the fact that the Russian budget received less taxes. However, so far this is just a version.It is all the more surprising that despite his business reputation and financial difficulties, Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor wants the “hothouse” conditions for himself. But dreams will remain dreams, and a businessman, according to some market players, will lose money in any case.