KAMAZ fails to return almost 160 trucks worth 1.5bn purchased from Vesta
KAMAZ PJSC is trying to return almost 160 of its trucks sold to the international logistics company Vesta and bought back from it a year ago. As it became known to Realnoe Vremya, the Moscow Arbitration Court refused the auto giant.
The major player in the freight forwarder market owed 3,6 billion rubles to the tax authorities. As a result, at the end of the year, the accounts of Vesta Logistics Company PLC, owned by businessmen Aleksey Belousov and Alexander Samoylov (49,5% each), were blocked. As it is believed in the market, this was due to the arrest of the company's accounts and arrears in tax payments. At the request of the Federal Tax Service in June 2022, interim measures were taken in the form of seizure of funds and another affiliated company of Belousov and Samoylov — TK Vesta PLC. Besides, the State Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in the city of Moscow banned registration actions with vehicles of this company.
According to experts, Vesta, one of the top 15 largest players in the logistics market, could get into a difficult situation due to reorganisation, transferring assets from one company to another with the same composition of owners (for example, consolidation).
Due to the ban imposed by the court on registration actions with Vesta transport, the KAMAZ fleet also suspended, 159 of which the Tatarstan auto giant bought back for some reason. Apparently, it concerns KAMAZ-5490-S5 NEO tractor truck with a gas-diesel power system, large batches of which were ordered several years ago by the food retailer X5 Retail Group, and another 165 cars by the logistics company VESTA LLC. Today, the cost of such a tractor is about 9,3 million rubles.
If it is only about 159 KAMAZ trucks that the residents of Naberezhnye Chelny bought back, demanding that the ban on registration actions be lifted, then the cost of the purchased trucks may be about 1,5 billion rubles. At the same time, for the logistics company itself, this is only 1% of the entire fleet, given that until recently it operated 15 thousand road trains.
But “operated” does not mean “owned”: its Vesta fleet consists of only 440 road trains (and according to the Arbitration Court, only 419 in general), and the loss of 159 of them should be very susceptible to it, this is more than a third of all trucks. The cost of the Vesta TK fleet in September 2021 was only 1,3 billion rubles “at market value," according to the ruling of the Moscow Arbitration Court (for obvious reasons, the “old KAMAZ trucks” should cost less than 1,5 billion).
TFK KAMAZ JSC tried to challenge the ban on registration actions in relation to its KAMAZ 5490-DC cars in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow. In the justification, KAMAZ referred to the fact that the trucks were owned by TFK KAMAZ JSC on the basis of a purchase and sale agreement dated May 31, 2021. Moreover, the duty of registration was assigned to TK Vesta PLC, which had to do it within 10 calendar days from the moment of signing the act of acceptance and transfer of vehicles, but it was not carried out in time. The court also drew the attention of KAMAZ to the fact that throughout the year, until the introduction of interim measures, TFK KAMAZ JSC did not take any measures to legaliыe vehicles belonging to it.
“Alienation of property in order to avoid the fulfillment of a tax obligation”
In addition, TFK KAMAZ JSC did not provide evidence of the presence of obstacles in the exercise of the right to own and use vehicles purchased more than a year ago from TK Vesta PLC. In general, according to the AC for Moscow and Moscow Oblast, this indicates “an obvious deviation from the standards of conscientious behaviour of both TK Vesta PLC and TFK KAMAZ JSC as participants in civil turnover.”
The court especially noted the sharply “thinner” Vesta fleet: if last year it had 419 trucks, then, according to AIS Nalog-3, as of this summer, 119 units of transport property have already been registered for TK Vesta PLC, which “indicates the alienation of property in order to avoid the fulfillment of a tax obligation”, in order to ensure the fulfillment of which the court took interim measures of 8 June, 2022. Moreover, it is unclear whether Vesta sold these trucks to their former owners — as well as TFK KAMAZ JSC, or re-registered them to related companies. The participation of KAMAZ, however, in the literal “alienation of property” is not mentioned in the definition of the Arbitration Court.
The financial performance of LK Vesta, whose accounts were blocked, did not deteriorate last year (LK Vesta participated in the meeting as a third party). If in 2017 its turnover was 7,3 billion rubles, then two years later it fell to 2,2 billion rubles, and in 2020 the LK closed with revenue of 460,5 million rubles. Due to the blocking of accounts, it is possible that revenue in 2021 formally fell to 9 million rubles. On the other hand, the net profit of the parent company, having reached a record 95 million in 2017, in recent years has held the mark of 71-72 million rubles. At the same time, the company has high accounts payable to its counterparties — by 450 million rubles. But the company itself owes other firms 568 million.
While the financial indicators of Vesta TK (owned by the same owners) are improving: from 2018 to 2021, turnover almost doubled, amounting to 6,2 billion rubles (falling last year, however, by 70 million), and net profit consistently exceeded 250 million rubles, not counting the quarantine 2020 year, when the company sank to 115 million . In 2021, the company almost reached the 200 million mark. At the same time, by the end of last year, TK Vesta owed its counterparties almost 1,5 billion rubles (and other companies owe it 1 billion rubles). Of course, the tax authorities may be suspicious of the high cost, which many firms often overestimate in order not to pay large taxes. With such turnover, TK Vesta in 2018, for example, paid almost nothing (profit before tax is almost equal to net profit), in 2019 paid only 70 million rubles in taxes, in 2020 — almost 60 million, but in 2021 — more than 100 million, and these are only income taxes. In 2020, TK Vesta paid VAT for 445 million rubles.
But things have been going well for TFK KAMAZ JSC so far: despite a short drop in turnover in 2020, for obvious reasons, the company's revenue is steadily growing. If in 2013 the company's turnover was only 616,5 million rubles, then in 2018 the company overcame the bar of 2 billion rubles, in 2019 — 3 billion rubles, and in 2021 showed a record 4,5 billion rubles of revenue. However, the cost of TFK KAMAZ JSC seems to completely eat up all the revenue, and in fact, this company pays practically nothing in income tax (the volume of VAT in 2020, at the same time, amounted to 295,5 million rubles).