‘Show the money’ demands Lipmans

  • 2012-05-10
  • From wire reports

RIGA - Shareholders of the metallurgical company Liepajas Metalurgs are in dispute over a proposal to pay dividends to the company’s shareholders, as one of Liepajas Metalurgs shareholders, Kirovs Lipmans says in interviews with the Naudaslietas.lv portal and newspaper Vesti Segodna business supplement Delovie Vesti. Liepajas Mtalurgs paid-in share capital is 16,981,033 lats (24.1 million euros).

In mid-2011, the company’s largest shareholders were Sergejs Zaharjins (49 percent), Ilja Segals (21.03 percent), and Lipmans (20.14 percent), who has by now increased his stake in the company to 23.27 percent.
Lipmans has proposed that Liepajas Metalurgs’ shareholders meeting on May 8 vote on the payment of dividends to the company’s shareholders. He explains that the company has been profitable for many years, yet it has never paid dividends.

“They should show where the money went,” said Lipmans. “I am not demanding that I must be paid dividends at any cost. I am doing this so they present a full account for all these years,” added Lipmans, saying he was not sure if the company truly needed the government to underwrite its loans for modernization.

“If they can prove to me that the profit of Liepajas Metalurgs has been purposefully invested in the company’s development, not transferred to offshore companies, I will have no further questions. Of course, I fully support investments in industry. But why did they have to apply for state guarantees and loans? The company has a debt of 168 million lats! Where from?” asks Lipmans.

In Lipmans’ opinion, the company should have issued new shares to raise the necessary funds, and these shares could later be bought by the existing shareholders.
Lipmans is indignant at the way Liepajas Metalurgs is run, and says that he is buying up the company’s shares so he could have a say in the management of the company. Already now, his stake in the company entitles him to veto certain decisions.

Lipmans admits that he has not discussed his plans with the other major Liepajas Metalurgs shareholders, but they should be aware of this, taking into account his public statements.
Commenting on Liepajas Metalurgs management plan for this year - 342 million lats in turnover and 10.2 million lats in profit, Lipmans says that, in his opinion, a company such as Liepajas Metalurgs should operate with a profit of at least 20 million lats.