Crimea’s “Council of Ministers” decided to proceed with the compulsory buyout of two factories in Kerch affiliated with Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, reported the Russian newspaper “Kommersant” with reference to sources in the companies’ administration and the Crimean “government”.
According to the publication, on the 6th of March, representatives of the Crimean “government” and the “administration” of Kerch met with employees of the Kerch Switch Plant and the Kerch Metallurgical Complex and announced that temporary administration would be introduced into the company. Employees of both companies were also asked to write statements regarding their transfer to employment in the newly created state company “Kerch Metallurgical Complex”, promising the regular payment of salaries.
Kommersant’s source in the Crimean “government” reported that the temporary administration will carry out an assessment of the value of both factories, after which they will be purchased from the previous owner “at a fair price”.
In 2014, the Crimean “State Council” adopted a law regarding “the specifics of buying out strategic objects in the Republic of Crimea”, according to which the “government” of the Crimea received the right to determine the companies liable to compulsory buyout, and determine the compensation amount.
Kommersant’s sources in the Crimean “government” reported that the decision regarding the buyout of factories in Kerch was made in connection with the political position of Rinat Akhmetov, and also the reluctance to invest money in the development of companies.
The Kerch Switch Factory produces railroad switches as well as cast-iron and steel castings for the casting of freight cars. After the annexation of the Crimea by Russia, the factory became the Kerch branch of the “Krasnodar Switch Company” LLC, which rents the property from the Ukrainian owners. A similar scheme was used for the Kerch Metallurgical Complex, which was considered one of Ukraine’s largest producers of steel enamel ware, as well plastic and rubber products used for railroad transport. After the annexation of the Crimea, the factory became a branch of the “Krasnodar Metallurgical Complex” LLC.
Kommersant’s source in the Crimean “government” explained that according to this scheme, the rental money and the profit went to the owners in Ukraine.