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By John Helmer, Moscow Andrei Melnichenko’s Eurochem group, one of Russia’s largest producers of fertilizers, has responded to a New York lawsuit this month from Alexander Mashkevich’s International Mineral Resources (IMR). Mashkevich is accusing Melnichenko of paying American agents to hack into his company computers, steal sensitive information, and promote litigation and propaganda damaging to [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Proof that oligarchs have more money than sense isn’t hard to come by. For a man with no business reputation left to lose in London to ask a jury in New York to judge his business rival to be a scoundrel is a proof that Alexander Mashkevich (lead image, with glasses), [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A court in The Netherlands has dismissed a fraud claim for more than $800 million by Andrei Melnichenko against Alexander Mashkevich and the two other Kazakh owners of International Mineral Resources for lack of evidence. The 11-page judgement was issued by the District Court of Amsterdam on June 25. Three judges, [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow To the disability of being unable to speak his mind in public Suleiman Kerimov has the added handicap of being unable to accept how short his arms are, particularly when handling money from state banks. In overreaching himself Kerimov has provided a case study of how President Vladimir Putin expects the [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow On December 7, 2012, Andrei Melnichenko (image right, right) told prospective buyers of $750 million in loan participation notes that he was gung-ho on the future of the potash business of his Eurochem group. For Eurochem — 92% owned by board chairman Melnichenko; 8% by chief executive Dmitry Strezhnev – potash [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Uralkali, Russia’s potash monopoly, has been spending heavily for months – more than $1.3 billion — not so much to buy back its free-floating shares, as to let its control shareholders escape. The cash has come from new bondholders and from state banks, Sberbank and VTB. Bank of America Merrill Lynch [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow It’s been three years almost to the day since Vladimir Putin (left), then Russian Prime Minister, visited the Gremyachinskoye potash mine in southwestern Volgograd region. The mine, the newest in construction in Russia, with one of the country’s largest potash reserves, and one of the most costly ever to be built, [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In the interior designer trade, there is a standard known inside Russia and the world over as the vomit test. The World of Interiors usually passes; Architectural Digest often fails. This isn’t what it sounds like – no disparagement intended of the design or designer as such. No Sirree. The test [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Two US banks named in May by Phosagro as mandated arrangers of its initial public offering (IPO) walked away from the share sale attempt after finding little interest among international investors to buy the shares from Phosagro’s owner, Andrei Guriev. The Americans also had problems with verifying how Guriev came into [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow If Phosagro, one of Russia’s leading phosphate miners and exporters, were a Mom and Pop store, the release this morning of the 441-page prospectus reveals that Mom Gurieva and Pop Guriev are selling a good part of the family jewels for cash. The only other seller of shares for the initial [...]