MOSCOW, November 26 (TASS) Russia’s MDM Bank can still participate in the management of metals and mining group Mechel’s debt, CEO Timur Avdeyev told reporters on the sidelines of a financial forum on Wednesday.
“It is a legal entity, not physical… I would like to say that we as a bank retained an opportunity to participate in decisions concerning this debt’s management,” he said.
In October MDM Bank sold Mechel’s debt backed against a 15% stake in the company to a large creditor, whose name was not disclosed.
Mechel, which was actively buying assets with loans amid the 2008-2009 global economic slump, cannot service its debt, which has soared to over $8 billion. The metals giant is currently in talks with its major lenders to try to agree on rescheduling its liabilities.
Mechel’s major creditors are Russia’s largest lender Sberbank ($1.3 billion), Gazprombank ($2.3 billion) and VTB Bank ($1.8 billion).
Russian government officials earlier discussed various options of restructuring Mechel’s debts and stabilizing its financial position, while also considering a possibility of the company’s bankruptcy.
VTB and Sberbank filed lawsuits worth about 4.5 billion rubles ($96 million) against Mechel in autumn to recover overdue debts.
Mechel’s net debt amounts to $8.1 billion.
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.