25 Aug 2023 11:37

Signet Investments acquires Siberian agribusiness group Komsomolets - paper

CHITA. Aug 25 (Interfax) - APK LLC (Potato Producers Alliance), a division of Signet Investments, has acquired JSC Plemennoy Zavod Komsomolets, an agribusiness group in Transbaikal Territory with almost 190,000 hectares of land, national daily Kommersant reported on Friday.

Komsomolets has been unprofitable recently, but the investor is interested in it because it has a large share of exports to China, the paper said. The new owner might start with processing rapeseed oil, demand for which is growing every year in China, it said, citing analysts.

The price of the deal has not been disclosed, but sources cited by the paper said that the valuation primarily factored in the company's debt burden. Komsomolets's long-term and short-term debt exceeded 2.2 billion rubles at the end of 2022, its accounts showed.

The acquisition increases Signet Investments' land holdings to about 233,000 hectares.

APK LLC was registered in November 2022 and its principal owner, with 99.9%, is Irriko LLC, the founder of which is the Signet Investments 1 closed-end mutual fund, the Unified State Register of Legal Entities showed. The fund's management company is Signet Capital and its beneficiary is Pavel Polukhin, CEO of the Gubernsky consortium. He owns 0.1% of APK directly.

Komsomolets was sold by its founders Valery and Ivan Nagel, who owned the company equally.

Komsomolets posted a net loss of 104.8 million rubles in 2022 compared to a profit of 5.334 million rubles a year earlier, although revenue grew by 14.9% to 586.5 million rubles. The company said its business in 2022 was affected by bad weather and postponement of the harvest, which resulted in late deliveries to customers, as well as export duties on sunflower seeds and rapeseeds being raised to a prohibitive level.

Komsomolets, founded in 2014 on the basis of a bankrupt state enterprise, is one of the largest producers of agricultural commodities in Transbaikal Territory. The group has farmland in the Krasnokamensky, Priargunsky, Sretensky, Uletovsky and Chernyshevsky districts of the Siberian region. Its core business is growing grains (other than rice), grain legumes and oil seeds.