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Russia’s Sberbank files new lawsuits vs heavily-indebted Mechel

October 03, 2014, 11:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Sberbank filed lawsuits against the Korshunov Ore Dressing Plant, the Mechel Mining Management Company, Mechel Mining, the Southern Kuzbass Coal Company and the Bratsk Ferroalloy Plant
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© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW, October 3. /TASS/. The Moscow Arbitration Court has registered five new lawsuits filed by Russia’s largest lender Sberbank against metal giant Mechel that is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy over its huge debt, according to court materials released on Friday.

The lawsuits were filed against Mechel’s five subsidiaries on October 2. The details of the claims or their amounts were not disclosed.

Sberbank, which is among Mechel’s major creditors, filed the lawsuits against the Korshunov Ore Dressing Plant, the Mechel Mining Management Company, Mechel Mining, the Southern Kuzbass Coal Company and the Bratsk Ferroalloy Plant.

Sberbank earlier filed a lawsuit worth 21.8 million rubles ($550,000) versus Mechel and the Bratsk Ferroalloy Plant.

Russia's largest bank also filed a lawsuit on October 1 against Mechel and its four subsidiaries: Mechel-Trans, Mechel-Service, the Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Integrated Works and the Bratsk Ferroalloy Plant.

The details of the lawsuit were not disclosed while a source told TASS that Sberbank’s lawsuit against Mechel was worth 1.5 billion rubles ($38 million).

Mechel’s debt has reached $8 billion. The Russian government, creditor banks, investment consultants and Mechel representatives are considering options to restructure the metal giant’s debts.

The company’s major creditors are Sberbank ($1.3 billion), Gazprombank ($2.3 billion) and VTB ($1.8 billion). VTB earlier filed a lawsuit to recover 3 billion rubles ($75.9 million) in overdue debt from Mechel.

The Mechel group incorporates coalmining divisions and producers of iron ore, steel, rolled stock, ferroalloys, high value added items, and thermal and electric power. It employs a total staff of 70,000. Its main shareholder Igor Zyuzin owns a 67.42% stake. Earlier, Mechel said that Zyuzin’s companies registered in Cyprus had reduced the amount of the company’s pledged shares to 27.22% from 41.57%.

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