UMCC announces another attempt to disrupt privatization via ongoing searches in company
PJSC United Mining and Chemical Company (UMCC), which manages Vilnohirsk Mining and Metallurgical Plant (Dnipropetrovsk region) and Irshansk Mining and Processing Plant (Zhytomyr region), is considering holding searches on Wednesday on the territory of the Vilnohirsk Plant, in the head office in Kyiv and in the premises of some of the company's employees as an attempt to disrupt privatization.
According to a Wednesday press release from the company, the investigative actions are taking place within the framework of criminal proceedings registered in August last year, "even before the allegedly illegal actions were committed."
At the same time, "this is not the first attempt to disrupt the privatization of JSC UMCC: in August 2020, attackers unsealed 10 hopper cars of the company with ilmenite concentrate, which was shipped under a contract with the U.S. holding Chemours, and earlier that they set the company's manager's car on fire."
"The process of putting JSC UMCC for a transparent auction is in the homestretch. It is expected to be held in the first quarter of 2021 and promises the wonders of the largest privatization in Ukraine since the sale of Kryvorizhstal. The privatization of this asset is also provided for in Ukraine's memorandum with the IMF. In particular, 16 leading foreign companies have expressed preliminary interest in the privatization auction. The starting price is expected to be several billion hryvnias," the company said in a statement.
UMCC management associates the attempt to disrupt privatization with the previous management. After the arrival of the new management, the company received a record profit of UAH 600 million in 2020 compared to UAH 100 million in 2019.
"It should also be noted that in December 2020 the company announced the discovery of twice as large reserves of titanium-bearing ore sands at Vilnohirsk Plant than expected, which significantly increased the company's investment attractiveness and its market price," the company said.