One of the most controversial developers of Russia, Sergei Polonsky, made another surprise yesterday. The Board of Directors of his company decided to close the brand Mirax, without notifying the creditors of the corporation. Sergei Polonsky promised to pay off all debts ($ 593 million) and complete the initiated projects (2.5 million square meters). Statement by the businessman may be a preparation for the transfer of Mirax Group to banks and well-planned show in anticipation of re-branding or possible bankruptcy, as many market participants predicted.
The main owner of development company Mirax Group Sergei Polonsky said at the yesterday's meeting with journalists that the board of directors of the corporation decided to close the brand Mirax. "This is an economical solution, which was weighed and consistent", added Polonsky. In this case, the developer promises to fulfill all their commitments: finish all the initiated building projects (about 2.5 million square meters) and pay the holders of securities of the corporation and creditors (about $ 200 million of bank loans, $ 392 million of securities). "From this moment please do not treat me as a businessman", added Mr. Polonsky, dropping a tear, and left the hall, refusing to answer additional questions. All employees of the corporation have been sent for a week vacation on company’s expense. The press service of Mirax promised to provide more detailed explanations after March 14.
Statement by Mr. Polonsky was a complete surprise to his partners. Member of the Board of Alfa-Bank (agent on Mirax debt restructuring and a major creditor of the developer - about $ 90 million) Maxim Pershin told Kommersant that Sergei Polonsky did not agree with the Bank's decision unveiled at a press conference. "His statements resemble the beginning of the original advertising campaign," he added. Ex-partner of Mirax Group, Dmitry Lutsenko told Kommersant that thus “Sergei has once again decided to remind about himself to the masses:" All this is very reminiscent of the usual show business. «Managing Director of Uralsib Capital (a holder of securities of Mirax at $ 14 million) also called Sergei Polonsky a "marketing genius" and all of yesterday's events - a "show before the rebranding." Mr Ginsburg added that the creditors' committee (controls 80% of public debt) will appeal to the developer for clarification.
Some of the interlocutors of Kommersant speculated that the closure of the brand Mirax may be associated with the proposed change of ownership of the corporation. In particular, they said, part of the shares might be transmitted to Sberbank, which earlier this year approved the issuance of a loan of $ 370 million to Sergei Polonsky to complete construction of “Federation” Tower in Moscow-City (the total area of 494 thousand square meters), and currently they are negotiating a loan of approximately $ 100 million, which is planned to be spent on completion of the Residential Complex «Wellhouse the Dubrovka" (174 thousand square meters). CEO of Penny Lane Realty, George Dzagurov supposes that part of the company or its share in the project can go to creditors. Earlier, sources in the Mirax Group assured Kommersant that the terms of the loans do not involve the transfer of shares of the company to Sberbank, as the sale of constructed area will completely pay off the loans. One of the creditors assured Kommersant that the current shareholders of Mirax remained unchanged. "The decision to close the brand Mirax has no relation to the participation of Sberbank in the" Federation ", respectively, and plans for the lending company to complete construction of the tower has not changed", the press service of the State Bank said.
Kommersant № 38 (4579) on 04/03/2011