LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Braidy Industries has secured $ 200 million in funding for its planned Ashland aluminum mill, Ky., Thanks to an investment from Russian aluminum giant United Company Rusal PLC.
Rusal becomes Braidy Industries & # 39; "exclusive supplier" gives $ 500 million in premium aluminum annually to the Kentucky Rolling Mill for 10 years, the companies said in a press release on Monday.
Rusal and its parent company, En + Group, were under US sanctions until January ̵
A + Group and Rusal are partly owned by the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who is still under personal sanction by the US government.  The $ 200 million investment from Rusal helps Braidy Industries, which is partly owned by Kentucky taxpayers, against the goal of raising $ 500 million in equity. The $ 500 million is needed so that Braidy Industries can fund the construction of $ 1.7 billion, which the company says will open in 2021.
"This strategic partnership aims to create an end-to-end basis, The first hydrocarbon influences industrial aluminum rolling mill operations in the world, says Braidy Industries in a press release.
In an interview with CNBC that came out on Monday, Braidy Industries broke the founder and CEO Craig Bouchard asking questions about doing business with Rusal, says a cloud.
Braidy Industries CEO: Rusal will become a superstar company from CNBC.
"If you remember Hannah Montana, everyone loved her at that time. Then she became a teenager – Miley Cyrus – and the media got her a little, and now she's a beautiful, married woman, "Bouchard said." I expect Rusal to come out of this as the superstar company in our industry. "
Vehicle makers have switched to aluminum as a lighter alternative to steel, giving cars and trucks better fuel economy.
"Automotive industry (producers) all go for sustainability and low carbon, and I think we should be their favorite supplier, "Bouchard told CNBC on Monday.
In exchange for the $ 200 million investment, Rusal will get a 40 percent stake in Braidy Atlas, Braidy Industries subsidiary that owns and operates the factory.
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday night that Bouchard said the Rusal investment "would allow Braidy Industries to reach $ 500 million in equity needed to borrow $ 1.2 billion for the factory's construction.
A spokesman from Braidy Industries did not immediately comment on Monday when he was asked to confirm whether the company had raised the other $ 300 million needed.
Braidy Industries, a private company, is in the midst of a stock sale planned to wind up on June 15. Bouchard said he plans to take the company publicly in July, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Kentucky's Tate Government was one of Braidy Industries' first investors. The state deposited $ 15 million in May 2017 as part of Matt Bevin's attempt to land the facility and expected 600 high-wage salaries in the state's Appalachian region.
Some Republican opponents raised sanctions against Russian firms
Trump's Treasury Department said in December that it was scheduled to lift sanctions against Rusal and En + Group after Deripaska agreed to reduce its ownership in the companies.
In January, some Republicans went to democracies in a failed effort to block the Treasury department moving and keeping sanctions in place.
Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, opposed efforts to block sanctions from the Russian companies, the New York Times reported in January.
A spokesman for McConnell did not respond promptly on Monday when asked whether Braidy Industries' investment had a role in McConnell's attitude to sanctions.
Braidy Industries is looking for more help from the Trump management to make the aluminum mill a reality: It seeks $ 800 million in sub-market funding from a US Department of Energy program to help produce efficient cars.