November 7, 2022
Four companies associated with controversial businessmen Kostyantyn Zhevago, Ihor Kolomoisky and Konstantin Grigorishin may soon be nationalized, Ukrainska Pravda reported, citing unnamed sources in the National Securities and Stock Market Commission. The sources said the decision was made on Nov. 6.
The Ukrainian government may reportedly take full control of Ukrnafta, Ukrtatnafta, AvtoKrAZ, and Zaporizhtransformator.
Reportedly, the country can also take over Motor Sich, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of aircraft engines based in Zaporizhzhia, whose head Viacheslav Bohuslaiev was arrested him on Oct. 23. He is suspected of collaborating with Russia.
There has been no official confirmation so far about this possible nationalization campaign, but an unnamed source at the President’s Office told Forbes Ukraine that the governemnt is indeed working on legislation to regulate how strategial enterprises work during the war.
Ukrainska Pravda wrote that it’s unknown if the government would pay any compensations for the shares private owners have in these companies.
About 42% of oil company Ukrnafta, for example, reportedly belong to the companies associated with Kolomoisky. The rest has been state-owned. Kolomoisky and his business partner Gennadiy Boholyubov also reportedly owned roughly 60% of the shares in Ukrtatnafta, one of the largest producer of oil products in the country.
Kolomoisky and Boholyubov were once the owners of PrivatBank, which was nationelized in 2016. According to an independent audit, PrivatBank had a $5.5 billion hole in the ledger; the now state-owned bank is suing Kolomoisky in Ukraine, Switzerland, Britain, and the United States.
In July, Kolomoisky was allegedly stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship.
Automobile company AvtoKrAZ is owned by Zhevago, who face high-profile embezzlement charges after allegedly siphoning $113 million from Finance & Credit Bank he used to own. The bank is now defunct. Zhevago was charged with embezzlement in September 2019. His wherabouts is unknown, but he still owns a majority stake in mining firm Ferrexpo, while his net worth, according to Forbes, is $1.3 billion.
Manufacturer of power transformer equipment Zaporizhtransformator belongs to Grigorishin. Back in 2016, Grigorishin admitted he had financed Ukraine’s Communist Party and had Russian citizenship. In Russia, Grigorishin was charged in absentia with tax evasion and sentenced to four years in prison in 2020.