Bosov's Attack: Sibanthracite’s Owner Covering Up His Failures With “Black PR?”

Bosov's Attack: Sibanthracite’s Owner Covering Up His Failures With “Black PR?”
Mikhail Abyzov's legal problems have affected not only the ex-minister but also some of his partners, too. The owner of Sibanthracite Group Dmitry Bosov associated with Abyzov, who has been caught in thefts, is also going through difficult times. The problem is Bosov is looking for a way out with the help of meaningless attacks on his business partners.

Recently, claims have made in Telegram-channels and third-rate media against the cargo company Novotrans operator company over the events that took place more than ten years ago. Observers are linking this information attack on the company to its conflict with Bosov’s Sibanthracite Group.

Reports say that Novotrans got tired of waiting for Sibanthracite to pay for transportation of its coal and won suits against the coalmining company for 130 million rubles in a court of first instance. Without waiting for Sibanthracite's appeals, Novotrans has brought other actions for more than 450 million rubles. In the immediate future new claims are to be lodged -- in the amount of over 1 billion rubles.

For Sibanthracite, this might be the beginning of the end. According to the commercial case file, Bosov's company is experienced hard times. A lot of market operators have claims against Sibanthracite, including such large companies as the Russian Railways (RZD) state railway corporation, Federal Passenger Company, Federal Freight Company and Novotrans. All of them are suing Sibanthracite for millions of rubles and winning the cases. As a result, Dmitry Bosov may lose billions.

Some people believe that the company decided to stop the downhill slide by redirecting funds from debt repayment to information activity. Specifically, the Telegram-channel T34 and a number of others are reporting that negative news regarding Novotrans is likely to be connected with Sibanthracite.

Novotrans has been accused of money laundering and huge debts and promised troubles with law enforcement. Such mud-slinging might look plausible in if it did not concern the events of 2004-2006.

In addition, the company has recently published its prospectus for bond issue disclosing all of its financial indicators. Last year Novotrans’s net profit amounts to more than 8 billion rubles. The value of assets was more than 35 billion rubles, and short-term and long-term credits and loans amount to 22 billion rubles. The figures were audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In addition, about three months ago, the Russian credit rating agency Expert RA assigned Novotrans a rating of ruA (moderately high level of creditworthiness/financial reliability/financial strength compared to other objects of the rating in the Russian Federation.) Against this background, the “damaging information” about the Novotrans's financial distress looks unconvincingly as a minimum.

However, it is not the case with Sibanthracite, Bosov's main asset. The situation seems alarming. If one puts aside the RZD and other complainants, Novotrans alone is making claims for almost 2 billion rubles. The court of first instance the court has already held that 130 million rubles must be paid.

Seemingly, in such a situation Bosov should carry on negotiations with his dissatisfied partners at least for restructuring the debts, considering the fact that at present he has no patronage, which friendship with Abyzov supposedly used to ensure for him.

And now Bosov has to brace himself for both fair arbitration proceedings and difficult relationships with the authorities. The claims of regulatory agencies might be also costly and variegated in terms of consequences -- tax evasion, violation of environmental laws, seizure of government property and etc. Moreover, while previously officials could be stimulated somehow to turn a blind eye to the violations, in the current situation when creditors start to destroy Bosov’s business, the government agencies with all their claims will rush ahead of others to put themselves in the register of creditors.