The US imposed sanctions against the cement plant from Uzbekistan Akhangarancement JSC and Akkermann Cement CA, a company established by Alisher Usmanov’s USM holding company, according to the website of the U.S. Treasury Department.
In May 2021 the Cyprus-based Lamanka Enterprises acquired an 84.197% stake in the authorized capital of Akhangarancement JSC. The amount of transaction was then estimated at 557.6 billion soums. In January 2022, Lamanka Enterprises and Giacinttar of the British Virgin Islands announced the sale of their shares in Akhangarancement for 1.88 trillion soums. Later it became known that the buyer of the shares is Akkermann Cement CA, an established company of Alisher Usmanov’s USM holding.
“Usmanov has at his disposal a wide network of businesses in financial safe havens and family members through which to conduct financial transactions, enabling him to potentially circumvent sanctions,” the US Treasury Department stated.
The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued a licence to wind down transactions involving a number of companies from the new sanctions list, including Akkermann Cement CA, until July 11.
Metalloinvest, USM Telecom and Megafon were also sanctioned. All the companies are part of the holding company founded by Alisher Usmanov. Restrictions are also imposed on Metalloinvest’s enterprises — Mikhailovsky Mining and Processing Plant, Lebedinsky GOK and OEMK.
OFAC places individuals and entities on this list (SDN list) for purposes of national security, foreign policy and sanctions policy. Assets of companies on the SDN list are blocked. U.S. citizens and individuals are prohibited from doing any business or dealing with them.
About Akhangarancement JSC
Akhangarancement JSC was established in the middle of the 20th century. In 1970, it became an integrated factory, in 1980 it became a production association. In 1994, it was privatized and transformed into a joint stock company. For a long time, the main owner of the company was the company Zeromax, from which the Russian Eurocement bought 75.5% shares in 2006. This stake was later increased to 83.9%.
As Spot notes, the company had problems in 2014 — the now liquidated State Committee of Competition then demanded to recognize the privatization of 1994 as illegal, and the economic court of the Tashkent region seized the property and bank accounts of the plant. In addition, the company was required to pay additional taxes. After several court hearings and appeals, the parties were able to settle the issues.
In 2020, Russia’s largest cement producer, Eurocement, went under the control of Sberbank for debts and was put up for sale.
“Akhangarancement JSC was among the largest taxpayers in Uzbekistan in 2020 and is considered one of the companies dominating the market. The plant’s net profit for the first nine months of 2021 was 188.8 billion soums and for the first nine months of 2020 — 187.1 billion soums.