Friday, March 16, 2007

Reprivatization, or something else?

Kyiv Post have run a story today on the possible reprivatizations of Mariupol MetKombinat and Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant. The article is OK but fails to point out these two cases are less about the Ukrainian state obtaining a fair price for assets previously sold cheap to insiders during the Kuchma regime, and more about ferocious battles between rival Financial Industrial Groups who would like to grab or hold onto these significant assets.

SCM [and possibly Pinchuk's 'Interpipe'] would be very interested in aquiring MMK in any resale, particularly at a preferential price.

The article fails to mention that MMK's boss, Volodymyr Boyko is Socialist Party of Ukraine's main financial sponsor, and SPU are a vital part of the VR anti-crisis coalition.

Some observers say that the there is little chance of MMK being reprivatized because of the leverage which could be applied by VR speaker and SPU boss Oleksandr Moroz, and socialist State Property Fund head Valentyna Semenyuk.

Others are not so sure about this. I posted about this last week here.

Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant was part-owned by two of Ukraine's most powerful oligarchs - Viktor Pinchuk and Ihor Kolomoyskyi. Since Pinchuk recieved a further lion's share of the company these two, with the support of their political sympathizers, had been at one another's throats, but with the threat of privatization, they are co-operating. It is now looking as if privatization of NFP has been 'kicked into the long grass' too.
More on this from me here.

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