Scandal-struck mining group ENRC (LON:ENRC) has hit back against a human rights group that has called for its assets to be frozen ahead of a £3bn takeover by its founders and the Kazakh government.
UK-based Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID) claims miner CAMEC, which Kazakh-focused ENRC bought in 2009 for £584mln, breached sanctions against Zimbabwe before the acquisition.
It has urged the Takeover Panel, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the Asset Freezing Unit to stop ENRC’s privatisation.
ENRC, which is under investigation by both the Serious Fraud Office and the UK Listing Authority for bribery and corruption, strongly rebuffed the allegations, calling them "extremely serious and unfounded".
“Had RAID contacted the company they would have been told that when ENRC acquired CAMEC it sought and obtained all necessary regulatory clearances and/or consents for the transaction including engaging with HMT [Her Majesty’s Treasury] and OFAC [Office of Foreign Assets Control],” it said.
Founders Alijan Ibragimov, Patokh Chodiev and Alexander Mashkevitch have launched a bid alongside the Kazakh government to take the company private.
Kazakhmys has a 26% stake in ENRC, giving it the final say over a deal, which goes to vote at its general meeting tomorrow.
It is thought Kazakhmys shareholders will give the deal the green light.
Less than two weeks ago, it emerged ENRC is suing ex-director Sir Paul Judge for allegedly leaking information to the media.