The explosives company pointed out by Zelenski provides 11.8 million for an inspection of the Treasury

Maxam, the Spanish explosives company publicly pointed out in April by the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky Due to its activities in Russia, it has had to provision nearly 11.8 million euros for a recent inspection by the State Tax Administration Agency (AEAT). The actions of the Spanish Treasury are included in the latest annual accounts of its subsidiary Maxamcorp Internacional, which brings together its civil explosives business abroad.

"On March 2, 2021, the parent entity of the group received notification of the start of the inspection procedure," explains the subsidiary in its accounts, recently deposited in the Mercantile Registry and accessible through the Insight View platform. "The company has recorded a provision for tax risks to cover potential contingencies that may arise as a result of the inspection in progress for an amount of 11,773 euros."

The accounts cover the year ended March 31, 2021. The inspection covers a broad period and focuses on three taxes: VAT of the tax group between January 2018 and December 2020; the Corporate Tax from April 2017 to 2020; and the withholdings made to the Personal Income Tax (IRPF) from January 2018 to December 2020.

Maxam has allocated this provision in its accounts in view of the risk that this fiscal contingency will translate into an outflow of resources in the future. This inspection comes after the company signed minutes with the Spanish Treasury in November 2020 with agreement regarding the Corporation Tax for the years 2014-2017.

They resulted in "a fee of 1,083,517 euros and default interest of 128,460 euros, without the imposition of penalties". To questions about this matter, Maxam sources decline to give details of this new Treasury investigation.

Maxam's parent company has not yet submitted its latest consolidated accounts. The picture shown by its subsidiary abroad is that of a company with more than 600 million in assets, a turnover of more than 211 million and 41 million in profits.

While Maxam presented an employment regulation file (ERE) in Spain on the eve of confinement, in the case of Maxamcorp Internacional, sales grew by 2.1%, despite corresponding to the first year of the pandemic (started in March 2020). The operating result improved by 17.5%. With more than 75% of turnover outside the EU, it was a "good year" for exports to third parties despite the impact of COVID19.

The health crisis led the company to start a process of renewing the lines in the short term with State guarantees (ICO and Cesce). "As a result, between April and October 2020, operations for almost €95 million were signed, maturing in 3 years," explains the company, which acts as guarantor of a syndicated loan received by its financial entity parent company for an amount of 600 million.

This subsidiary is the result of the absorption, during the 2021 financial year, of four subsidiaries of the group, Maxam Europe, Maxam UEB, Maxam Initiation Systems and Maxam Mobile Solutions, "motivated by the structure simplification process that Maxam began at the end of previous fiscal year and that seeks greater efficiency in processes and cost reduction", explains the management report.

Maxam was founded a century and a half ago as the Spanish Gunpowder Society by the Swedish Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite. It has a presence in more than 100 countries, 140 subsidiaries in some 50 markets, more than 6,000 employees and 80 industrial facilities.

The former Spanish Union of Explosives (Explosivos Rio Tinto was another of its names) adopted its current name in 2006. It invoices more than 1,000 million euros a year. Its president is José Manuel Vargas, former executive of Vocento, former president of Aena and responsible for the partial privatization of the airport operator during the government of Mariano Rajoy.

The Maxam group provides blasting solutions for mining, quarrying and civil works; cartridges and gunpowder for hunting and sports shooting; products and systems for the defense and security sector, and production of key raw materials in the nitrochemical activity. Its most important division is explosives for mines and works, with more than 60% of its income.

The second leg, the defense leg, is brought together by Expal Systems SA, formerly Explosivos Alaveses, shelter of several former senior officials and one of the Vox gurus. Several administrators of the group and the great person responsible for its expansion in recent decades have a direct line with Juan Carlos I.

Maxam is controlled by US investment firm Rhône Capital, founded by US billionaire Robert Agostinelli, who is considered to be very well connected to former Spanish President José María Aznar.

The name of this company after Zelenski's telematic intervention in the Congress of Deputies on April 5. The Ukrainian president pointed to this company, together with Porcelanosa and the bosses of the Spanish capital goods industry, which, unlike Maxam, quickly disassociated themselves from Russia and denied any relationship with that country after the war in Ukraine.

Then, the Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto, defended the explosives company, assuring that it has a Russian subsidiary that produces fertilizers, but does not maintain "any type of commercial and financial exchange" with its parent company. Sources from the group denied at that time and now that their activity in Russia is intervened under the regime of Vladimir Putin, as some media published after the words of the Ukrainian leader.

Maxam, whose website has been out of action ever since, was also reported in early 2021 by the OpenLux journalistic investigation on tax bars in Luxembourg, carried out by Le Monde, Suddeutsche Zeitung, Le Soir, McClatchy, Woxx, IrpiMedia and the Consortium of Investigative Journalists (OCCRP), warning that the only information available on the owners of Prill Holdings, its reference partner, corresponded to "two companies registered in the Cayman Islands", a tax haven, linked to Rhône, "but little else is known about them". An "opacity" that he described as "disturbing".

Rhône bought the package that the US fund Advent had in Maxam, which had acquired in 2011 the shares of the Spanish venture capital firms Vista Capital (private equity of Banco Santander) and Portobello (former Ibersuizas).

Advent came to explore the group's IPO. The operation was cut short by the Defex scandalthe semi-public company dedicated to the export of weapons of which Maxam was the main private shareholder, with about 22%, along with others such as Instalaza (which had 10.89%), to which the former Minister of Defense was linked Peter Morenes.

Defex was dissolved after a very serious corruption scandal and millionaire commissions and the bulk of the case is still pending a court ruling. In this semi-public company, the honorary president of Maxam and architect of its expansion, José Fernando Sánchez-Junco, brother of the lawyer of the emeritus in his tax scandals, Javier Sánchez-Junco, was vice president.

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