Sverdlovsk Region Government might support Mars Sharafulin’s control over Demidov

24 June 2008 (09:03)

Mars Sharafulin and UMMC’s clash over who gets to control Demidov Business Center of Yekaterinburg moved into a new phase after the former acquired Lobvinskiy biochemical plant. This alcohol-producing plant, formerly owned by Pavel Fedulev, a local entrepreneur, had gone bankrupt. In April 2008, some workers went on a hunger strike, demanding their wages and resumption of work. The hunger strike was only stopped after Sverdlovsk Region Government decided to sell the plant to an investor who would pay off the enterprise’s debts and could spend some money on the technical upgrades. Finding such an investor took the officials a few months. Moscow-based REAL was one of the potential customers but backed out of the project later on.

After Mars Sharafulin bought the unfortunate plant, the region’s government was able to meet its obligations towards the workers. In addition, this acquisition exposed Sharafulin’s ties with the region’s executive power, which improved on his status and gave him a trump card in his struggle over Demidov.

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