Togliatti Azot is a Russian chemical company that makes billions of dollars a year, largely because it controls 11 percent of the world’s market for fertilizer ammonia.
A Kremlin-connected Russian oligarch named Dmitri Mazepin, who runs a competitor, Uralchem, acquired a 10 percent stake in Togliatti Azot as a springboard for taking it over.
But the company’s chair, Sergei Makhlai, rejected Mazepin’s demand that he take control.
So Mazepin started a campaign of trumped-up criminal charges, spurious lawsuits, “black PR” — or false and defamatory news stories — and other dirty tricks to try to force Makhlai to give in. The campaign continues, even though Russian and Western journalists, politicians and others have condemned Mazepin’s efforts.
The case found its way to the Irish Supreme Court in 2016. Togliatti Azot shareholders sued a Dublin-based company called Eurotoaz that has a stake in the company. The suit alleged that Eurotoaz, whose board includes Russians, was helping Mazepin carry out his dirty-tricks campaign against Makhlai.
A key allegation was that, at a meeting in Budapest, Mazepin told Makhlai that if he did not agree to sell Mazepin a majority stake in Togliatti Azot, Mazepin would take the company by force.
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April 20, 2016
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June 4, 2008
Official Togliatti Azot Website