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Minister: we will have to check the winner of KVV Liepājas metalurgs rolling stock auction

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUSecurity Institutions should check the winner of the auction for the sale of KVV Liepājas metalurgs rolling stock equipment – Austrian Smart Stahl GmbH, said Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens in an interview to Panorāma programme of LTV.

The minister said the buyer picked for KVV Liepājas metalurgs rolling stock equipment will be checked as soon as they have transferred the money, thereby demonstrating readiness to acquire said equipment. «[…] we’re not discussing a metallurgical company – we’re talking about a part of one. In this particular case, it is not a subject that requires inspection by the state. Of course, security institutions should check if investors are part of any companies under sanctions or if there are any risks for state security associated with them,» said Ašeradens.

Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis told the programme that the sale procedure is for specific assets of KVV Liepājas metalurgs. He said he doubts the company has any chance of recovering. «It is unlikely that this could lead to some long-term threat. Nevertheless, we will keep an eye on the situation,» said the prime minister.

Former KVV Liepājas metalurgs insolvency administrator and organizer of the auction Guntars Koris told the programme that contenders were not checked. «No, I have not checked that and I do not have that kind of duty. The law does not require it,» he said.

The auction for the sale of the insolvent KVV Liepājas metalurgs rolling mill equipment concluded with the victory of Austrian Smart Stahl GmbH.

The Austrian company won the auction with its price – EUR 1.57 million (without VAT) or EUR 1.9 million (with VAT). Smart Stahl GmbH is expected to transfer funds by 31 March.

There were three contenders in total: Austrian Smart Stahl GmbH and Latvian companies SIA Tolmets and SIA FeLM.

LNT had previously reported that KVV Liepājas metalurgs’ rolling stock may have been bought by the owner of Volgograd metallurgical company Red October, Russian billionaire Dmitri Gerasimenko.

According to information from the programme, Gerasimenko is the true beneficiary in Cyprus-based Segoa Ventures Limited, which owns the Austrian Smart Stahl.

According to Russian media, Gerasimenko was held suspect of theft of a large loan from a bank. In 2016, he was arrested in Cyprus. According to the media, he was in Cyprus at the beginning of the year and continued remotely controlling the work of the metalworking company in Russia. Charges have been lifted in regarding to theft. Instead he is accused of abuse of power and intentional bankruptcy of a business.


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