Saturday, December 3, 2022

Media: Ukraine to take over Motor Sich, Ukrnafta, other strategical enterprises owned by oligarchs

by The Kyiv Independent news deskNovember 7, 2022 1:18 pm

Media: Ukraine to take over Motor Sich, Ukrnafta, other strategical enterprises owned by oligarchsKostyantyn Zhevago, billionaire and Ferrexpo CEO, walks to his vehicle in Horishni Plavni in Ukraine in July 2019. Automobile company AvtoKrAZ owned by Zhevago may soon be nationalized, according to Ukrainska Pravda.

Four companies associated with controversial businessmen Kostyantyn Zhevago, Ihor Kolomoisky, and Konstantin Grigorishin may soon be nationalized, Ukrainska Pravda reported, citing unnamed sources in the National Securities and Stock Market Commission. The sources said the decision was made on Nov. 6.

The Ukrainian government may reportedly take full control of Ukrnafta, Ukrtatnafta, AvtoKrAZ, and Zaporizhtransformator.

Reportedly, the country could also take over Motor Sich, one of the world's leading manufacturers of aircraft engines based in Zaporizhzhia, whose head Viacheslav Bohuslaiev was arrested on Oct. 23. He is suspected of collaborating with Russia.

There has been no official confirmation so far about this possible nationalization campaign, but an unnamed source in the President's Office told Forbes Ukraine that the government is indeed working on legislation to regulate strategic enterprises during the war.

Ukrainska Pravda wrote that it's unknown if the government would pay any compensation for the shares private owners have in these companies. 

About 42% of oil company Ukrnafta, for example, reportedly belongs to companies associated with Kolomoisky. The rest is been state-owned. Kolomoisky and his business partner Gennadiy Boholyubov also reportedly own roughly 60% of the shares in Ukrtatnafta, one of the largest producers of oil products in the country.

Kolomoisky and Boholyubov were once the owners of PrivatBank, which was nationalized in 2016. According to an independent audit, PrivatBank had a $5.5 billion hole in its ledger; the now state-owned bank is suing Kolomoisky in Ukraine, Switzerland, Britain, and the United States.

In July, Kolomoisky was allegedly stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship.

Automobile company AvtoKrAZ is owned by Zhevago, who faces high-profile embezzlement charges after allegedly siphoning $113 million from Finance & Credit Bank he used to own. The bank is now defunct. Zhevago was charged with embezzlement in September 2019. His whereabouts are unknown, but he still owns a majority stake in mining firm Ferrexpo, while his net worth, according to Forbes, is $1.3 billion. 

The manufacturer of power transformer equipment Zaporizhtransformator belongs to Grigorishin. Back in 2016, Grigorishin admitted he had financed Ukraine's Communist Party and had Russian citizenship. In Russia, Grigorishin was charged in absentia with tax evasion and sentenced to four years in prison in 2020.

The Kyiv Independent news desk
The Kyiv Independent news desk

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