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Nr. dodgy deals
NGOs sound warning over one of year's largest IPOs
London, Apr 28 2010
The preliminary offering prospectus of Russian chemical fertiliser producer Uralchem glosses over several serious risks, says an international coalition of civil society organisations. Their research uncovers significant violation of environmental regulations by the company, which could lead the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources to force plant closures.
The coalition addressed the IPO bookrunners (UBS, Morgan Stanley, and Renaissance Capital) with an open letter urging them only to support the IPO if the company seriously commits to resolving its social and environmental problems. According to the report published alongside the open letter, Uralchem’s disregard for environmental safety has lead to several fatal accidents in the past year, and seriously damages the quality of air and water in the towns of Kirovo-Chepetsk, Voskresensk and Berezniki.
In Voskresensk, a 200m tall mound of phosphogypsum, illegally heaped by Uralchem’s plant, threatens to leak toxic phosphoric acid into Moscow River. In 2010 alone, the Russian Ministry for Natural Resources made three announcements that may herald a criminal court case against Uralchem and its Voskresensk plant.
“We do not want to see our town suffering from toxic pollution. Or consumers in France and the UK endangered by Uralchem’s dubious quality fertiliser from Dieppe. Or investors in the West putting their money into this dangerous corporation. So an IPO should only be carried out when the company cleans up its act,” – said Iolanta Avril, Les Verts, Dieppe.
2. The report has been researched in Russia by International Socio-Ecological Union, Fond Grazhdanin, and Institute for Globalisation and Social Movements. English edition supported by Platform-London (UK) and BankTrack (Netherlands).
3. Signatories to the open letter include
4. The open letter and report, as well as further information on the campaign in English can be found at http://www.banktrack.org/show/dodgydeals/uralchem
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