Over the past week, a number of media outlets published a series of materials with false allegations tarnishing the business reputation of JSC URALCHEM and its management.
In these publications, published in some regional, federal and foreign media, URALCHEM is falsely accused of non-payment of taxes to the Russian budget and tax fraud, obtaining loans from state banks to siphon funds abroad, and misappropriation of natural resources. Baseless assumptions were made regarding the imminent bankruptcy of the company and its possible liquidation. In addition, a number of reports feature meritless accusations of corruption and attempts to influence tax and law enforcement agencies against the management of JSC URALCHEM.
URALCHEM states that the facts and figures featured in these publications and materials are false and are the authors' conjectures. These publications were devised to harm the company and have nothing to do with real business journalism.
We also want to officially state that URALCHEM is a bona fide taxpayer. All companies of the URALCHEM group undergo regular field and desk tax audits. Neither law enforcement agencies nor the Federal Tax Service accuse URALCHEM of non-payment and violations.
In order to protect its business reputation, URALCHEM reserves the right to take measures prescribed by the Russian law.
Igor Bulantsev, Deputy General Director, CFO of JSC "URALCHEM":
"Even using data from open sources like media publications, press releases on the URALCHEM website and others, the authors deliberately paltered with all the figures to mislead the readers. URALCHEM management is confident in its business prospects, we continue to invest in production capacities, modernization, create jobs and pay taxes to the treasuries of various levels. The company successfully implements a strategy for sustainable development, including investing in new businesses. We perceive as slander any allegation asserting the possible bankruptcy of URALCHEM and will consider holding authors and disseminators of false statements accountable through legal action."
On October 17, the Samara Regional Court begins the review of appeal against the conviction of the leaders of the criminal group, which includes former heads of PJSC "Togliattiazot" Sergey and Vladimir Makhlai, Evgeny Korolev, the owner of the Swiss company Ameropa AG Andreas Zivy and the director of the Swiss company Nitrochem Distribution AG Beat Ruprecht. Publication of articles featuring false allegations designed to discredit the dignity of URALCHEM company just before the start of appeal process is not coincidental. We are convinced that yet another smear campaign against URALCHEM and its management was deployed by the interested parties in to put a pressure on the court in an attempt to overturn the sentence.
We wish to remind that, as per the verdict delivered by the Komsomolsky District Court of Togliatti on July 5, 2019, the aforementioned defendants were convicted in absentia under part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code for large-scale collusive fraud. Thus, the defendants in this criminal case were found guilty of a crime against PJSC Togliattiazot and its minority shareholders. In the completed criminal process, URALCHEM, by filing a civil lawsuit, first defended the rights of the Togliattiazot plant itself and its workers. URALCHEM considers the court ruling to be reasonable, lawful and fair. The court ordered the defendants to pay PJSC Togliattiazot 77.3 billion rubles in damages, while URALCHEM is entitled to receive 10.3 billion rubles.
At the same time, the PJSC Togliattiazot management denies the fact of damage sustained by Togliattiazot; the defendants refuse to compensate for direct losses incurred by the plant, its minority shareholders and the state, which has an extremely negative impact on the development of the enterprise.
Money illegally withdrawn from the enterprise are spent to fund smear campaigns to discredit URALCHEM, paying for expensive media publications irrelevant to PJSC Togliattiazot core business, as well as for efforts to discredit investigative and judicial authorities.
URALCHEM is incorporated in the Russian Federation, and all its production assets are located within its borders. The main shareholder of URALCHEM, Uralchem Holding PLC, is registered in Cyprus and is not included in the offshore lists. The ownership structure is completely transparent.
Throughout its existence, URALCHEM has never been in arrears with loan payments or delinquent. URALCHEM always fulfills obligations to creditors, services its debt and continues its operations, as evidenced by its financial statements and the clean audit opinions that are presented to all business partners. There are no signs the company is nearing bankruptcy.
In case of dividend transfer from and to the Russian Federation, the payments are taxed at the source in the RF. When paying dividends, the party paying them immediately withholds the tax amount from them and pays it to the budget, therefore, there can be no signs of any tax deductions. In addition, all foreign companies of the URALCHEM group are subject to disclosure via special declarations as controlled foreign companies (CFCs), and their income is also taxed in the RF.
The company exercises its rights as a shareholder of PJSC Togliattiazot strictly compliant with the Federal Law "On Joint-Stock Companies". For seven years, URALCHEM has been seeking respect of shareholding rights from PJSC Togliattiazot management and cessation of unlawful activities in manufacturing and economic operations of the plant. All actions undertaken by JSC URALCHEM in relation to the beneficiaries of PJSC Togliattiazot strictly comply with the Russian law.