Togliattiazot owners put ammonia producer up for sale

05/06/2017
Togliattiazot owner Vladimir Makhlay

Togliattiazot owner Vladimir Makhlay

The Samara-based Togliattiazot (ToAZ) company, one of the world’s largest producers of ammonia in the world has been put up for sale by the Makhlay family, with the former CEO Vladimir and his son Sergey announcing that they are looking for a buyer for their 71.5% stake. Estimates of the asking price range between $1bn and $2bn, the more optimistic of which is being described by observers as ‘ridiculously high’.
Last year, it recorded profits of $20m on a turnover of $780m.
ToAZ is one of Russia’s largest producers of chemicals and among the world’s top ten ammonia producers with its 200-hectare, 7-plant complex boasting an annual production capacity of three million tonnes. It supplies the Russian domestic market with 20% of its ammonia requirements and accounts for 11% of all global exports.
Privatised nearly 25 years ago, the company’s recent history has been mired in controversy.Towards the end of 2014, several top managers were arrested in absentia – including the younger Makhlay – after investigators accused them of exporting ammonia and urea products at understated prices to Nitrochem Distribution and Ameropa, affiliated offshore companies owned by Felix Zivy and later his son Andreas. The two companies then resold the products to independent buyers at market prices. Last year, Forbes described the ownership structure of ToAZ as a multi-stage system of offshore companies and trusts, but could find no trace of Makhlai senior.

Source: Vedomosti