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Failed Armax Group’s sandwich panel plant to receive new investor

Armax Group’s ambitious project to set up a plant for producing stone wool sandwich panels will be implemented by another investor.

This is what Alexey Gordeyev, the Governor of Voronezh Oblast said, highlighting a situation around bankruptcy.

The plant for producing sandwich panels with a core of basalt wool was the major resident of Maslovsky Industrial Park located in the Voronezh Oblast (region) of Russia. The project was first presented in May 2009, gaining a strategic status; and in 2012 the first phase of the plant was started.

Armax Group representatives stressed on the spot that the plant’s products would be used mainly for internal needs of the company. However, the construction of the industrial complex was fully being carried out by using credit facilities. Taking into account the strategic importance of the project, a credit line for 1.3 bn rubles was initially provided by Sberbank, and then for 4 bn rubles by Vnesheconombank (VEB). In addition, the plant received state support in the amount of 88 mn rubles to connect to utility networks and to develop transport infrastructure.

2013 saw Armax Group’s first difficulties in servicing the Voronezh project debt. At the end of 2015, a former resident of the Maslovsky Industrial Park was removed from the strategic facilities list. As a consequence, Voronezh authorities demanded a return of public funds.

Nikolay Arnautov

Nikolay Arnautov

In March 2016, Voronezh commercial court declared Armax Group bankrupt. At that time, VEB was one of the major creditors of the Maslovsky’s ambitious project. Total bank debt exceeded 5 bn rubles.

According to the recent data (the end of April 2016), the owner of Armax Group Nikolay Arnautov and three creditor banks, including VEB agreed to restructure the company’s debts. Under this agreement, Voronezh Industrial and Logistics Complex should be pledged to the Vnesheconombank as collateral.

Unofficial sources claim that VEB is interested in completing the construction, although the project is not included in the program of socio-economic development of the region. At the time that the bankruptcy proceedings were commenced, the readiness of production facilities, including four factories and a warehouse was 90%. According to Nikolay Arnautov, his company has not coped with the implementation of the project due to the ongoing financial and economic crisis.

About Olga Yurchenko

Olga Yurchenko
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