Ingersoll Rand’ Russian distributor is dragged through courts
03.08.2020 — News
Ingersoll Rand, a leading global manufacturer of air compressor equipment, may run into unforeseen problems in Russia. One of the distributors of the American company – Gas Engineering LLC and its CEO Vadim Portnyagin are facing criminal charges and are entangled in lawsuits with an uncertain outcome.
The Moscow-based company, Gas Engineering, came to prominence in 2016 when it was taken over by Sergey Popov (75%) and Sergey Golovkin (25%). The junior partner was appointed Chief Executive. During the first year, Gas Engineering signed a dealership agreement with Ingersoll Rand and entered into contracts with Kuzbassenergo JSC and Petersburg’s Admiralty Shipyards JSC for maintenance and equipment supply. The list of customers was further extended to include Chelyabinsk’s Mayak Production Association and Fortum JSC.
In the middle of 2019, the CEO was replaced by Vadim Portnyagin. It set off a corporate tussle. In his petition to the court of arbitration, Golovkin claims that Popov tried to get his consent to selling his ownership interest to Portnyagin, and then gave that interest to his sister, Lyudmila Voinova, as a gift.
Behind the new co-owner one can see Portnyagin, her common-law spouse. In June 2020, the authorized capital of Gas Engineering was increased from 20,000 rubles to 7,500,000 rubles, the amount contested by Golovkin through arbitration.
However, there is a more serious problem threatening the distributor of Ingersoll Rand: It is the criminal case initiated by Kazanorgsintez PJSC. The Russian leading chemical company used services provided by Gas Engineering, offering a good opportunity to Vadim Portnyagin to meet its top managers.
RusBusinessNews has been informed that at the beginning of 2020, chief power engineer Mikhail Darvin in cahoots with Portnyagin made an attempt to sell spare parts for the Ingersoll Rand air compressor to Kazanorgsintez. To do this, a group of individuals stole the used rotor of an Ingersoll Rand compressor and, after some tinkering, palmed it off as a brand new one for the price of more than 11 million rubles.
The fraud was averted by the company’s security service. Law enforcement authorities of Tatarstan reportedly are carrying out an investigation.
RusBusinessNews turned to the Moscow representative office of Ingersoll Rand for their comment on the above fact. The editor’s questions are still unanswered.
Among the company’s customers there are such leading Russian companies as the Asha Metallurgical Plant, Vyksa Metallurgical Plant, Ural Steel, Kuzbassenergo, Ural Locomotives, Sibur-Neftekhim, Cryogenmash-Gas, Cryogas, LUKOIL-Permnefteorgsintez, Sredneuralsk Copper Smelter, Fortum, and Bashneft. They need to know the level of supervision requirements for IR’s 13 distributors in Russia and the selection criteria. Can a criminal situation similar to that of Kazan happen with any other distributor?
Undoubtedly, through his actions, Vadim Portnyagin put the reputation of Ingersoll Rand at risk. Only the management of the American company can say if any other penalties, apart from the criminal ones, are going to be imposed on him.
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