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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

LDV Files for Bankruptcy

LONDON -- British-based van maker LDV, owned by Oleg Deripaska's GAZ, said Wednesday that it had filed for bankruptcy protection, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

"The pressure of the unprecedented global downturn, coupled with the actions of a small number of suppliers, has caused the position of LDV to deteriorate to the point where LDV has been left with no alternative than to apply for administration," an LDV official said.

The application will be processed on May 6, he said. (Reuters)

Pork Ban to Stay to June 1

Russia will keep its bans on raw pork from countries affected by swine flu until June 1, the government said on its web site Wednesday.

A commission on swine flu, headed by First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, approved the measure on Wednesday. The commission aims to "coordinate government efforts" targeting the possible impact of the virus in the country, it said in a statement.

The Foreign Ministry advised Russians on Wednesday not to travel to Mexico "before the epidemiological situation in the country is clear," ministry official Andrei Nesterenko said. (MT)

AvtoVAZ's Executive Cuts

AvtoVAZ will get rid of nine vice president positions, cutting senior management by a third, Russian Technologies head Sergei Chemezov told Kommersant on Wednesday.

There are currently 27 people holding management positions in the automaker, including president Boris Alyoshin's deputies Igor Komarov and Yan Vensan, as well as 23 other vice presidents and a secretary. Chemezov did not say which positions would be cut.

The firm will also aim to reduce expenditures by cutting top management salaries and bonuses, he said. (MT)

Magnit's First Dividend

Magnit said Wednesday that it was proposing its first dividend.

It said its board had recommended a dividend of 6.22 rubles (18.5 cents) per share from its net profit for 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. "As the sum is small, less than 3 percent of the planned capex, it will have no impact on our development plans," Magnit official Oleg Goncharov said. (Reuters)

Sibir Names New CEO

Sibir Energy has named Stuard Detmer as its new chief executive and said it is in talks to settle a claim against former shareholder Shalva Chigirinsky while court proceedings continue.

The oil company halted trading Feb. 19 after opening an investigation into shareholders, including Chigirinsky, over as much as $400 million that is allegedly missing. Former CEO Henry Cameron was suspended in February and Detmer was named acting CEO.

"Sibir is in without-prejudice negotiations with [Chigirinsky] to settle the claim on terms which the board of Sibir believes, having taken the appropriate legal advice, would be a satisfactory settlement," Sibir said. (Bloomberg)

Aeroflot to Buy Blue Wings?

Aeroflot may agree to buy 49 percent of troubled German airline Blue Wings, Transportation Minister Igor Levitin, who is Aeroflot's chairman, said.

"[Blue Wings] has a modern and young fleet. ... This is interesting," Levitin said Wednesday. Alexander Lebedev, who owns 30 percent of Aeroflot, has offered Aeroflot his Blue Wings' stake for a nominal 1 euro. (Reuters)

MMK Gives Potato Plots

Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, or MMK, will distribute 500-square-meter plots of land to its employees for them to plant potatoes, the company's union said on its web site Wednesday.

"The plant is ready to give out 1,000 land plots in these uneasy times," the union said. MMK said it would do all it could to help employees with the planting. "We will plow the land and prepare it for sowing," MMK spokeswoman Yelena Azovtseva said. "We will also transport the employees to the spot for free and will organize security to guard the potato fields." (MT)

For the Record

Amtel-Vredestein said Wednesday that a Dutch court withdrew its preliminary suspension of payments, declaring it bankrupt, and that its Dutch trustee accepted an offer from Apollo Tyres to acquire its Vredestein Banden subsidiary.(Bloomberg)

Evraz Group, the biggest steel supplier to U.S. and Russian railroads, said Wednesday that it expected President Barack Obama's stimulus package to help kick-start the U.S. economy by the year's end, bolstering metals sales. (Bloomberg)

MTS and a pool of foreign creditors have agreed on an extension and pricing terms for a three-year $630 million loan, sources said Wednesday. (Reuters)