Amtel-Kirov Plant Enters Bankruptcy Protection

30th June 2009 | 0 Comments
 

Following the official bankruptcy of Amtel-Vredestein NV in April, and the subsequent sale of Vredestein Banden and its subsidiaries to Apollo Tyres, the Russian holding company’s Kirov manufacturing operation entered voluntary bankruptcy on 22 June. OJSC Amtel-Vredestein entered bankruptcy on 3 June 2009 with subsidiary OJSC Tyre Complex AmtelChernozemje doing the same on 20 May 2009. According a report in the local Kommersant newspaper, the decision was reportedly made after accounts payable mounted up to 982 million rubles (£20 million) in the first quarter 2009 compared with a net asset value of about 840 million rubles (£16.337 million).

Kommersant estimates that the total debt load of Amtel-Vredestein’s Russian units adds up to more than US$450 million. Negotiations with creditors, the largest of which is said to be Sberbank, which is apparently owed US$100 million, are currently underway. However, the newspapers are also speculating about some more ‘creative’ kinds of debt restructuring. Arguably, the most interesting of these sees Kommersant name Pirelli as a foreign investor willing to expand its interests in Russia beyond the tyre production joint venture it signed with Russian Technologies in November 2008. Apparently certain government officials discussed the idea with the leadership of Amtel-Vredestein in late March. However, the newspaper also quotes Sibur Russian-Tyres director, Igor Karavaev as saying he considers it unrealistic that any investors will be able to purchase Amtel’s assets, especially foreign players.

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