Choice: major arbitrations 2015

Choice: major arbitrations 2015


General attention in the field of arbitration proceedings this year attracted the case of “Mechel”, airline “Transaero” and “UTair” and “Rosneft”.

MOSCOW, 16 Dec. Litigation of “Mechel”, which threatened him with bankruptcy, the claims of creditors to the largest Russian private airline “Transaero” and “UTair” and the introduction of Institute of bankruptcy of individuals, headed the rating of the main events in 2015 in the field of arbitration.

Your “top ten” of arbitration cases also made “Rosneft”, “Gazprom” “Rostelecom”, “Uralvagonzavod” and other.

The state-owned banks against “Mechel”

The full year mining and metallurgical company “Mechel” tried to handle lost patience with lenders. Chief among them were the largest Russian banks – Sberbank (the debt of “Mechel” in front of him at the end of June was estimated at 1.3 billion dollars), VTB ($1.8 billion) and Gazprombank ($2.3 billion). With the latest Mechel has agreed a debt restructuring, without bringing to trial. But Sberbank and VTB showed the giant company claims and even threatened by bankruptcy.

So, Sberbank demanded that the coal company “southern Kuzbass”, included in “Mechel”, 720 million dollars and 3.3 billion rubles, a total of more than 53 billion rubles. The arbitration of Moscow has started to consider these claims, but at the preliminary hearing, the parties declared the possibility of an early conclusion of settlement agreements before the end of December.

Same on the suit of VTB, the court of first instance in April ordered Mechel to pay more than 50 billion rubles. The decision is still not in force, as in the court of appeal, the parties announced an agreement in principle to settle the dispute peacefully.

In September, VTB Bank and Mechel signed a restructuring agreement involving, including, and completion of numerous litigation. So, in the claim of 50 billion rubles metallurgical company must pay the overdue interest, then the Bank will withdraw the suit. However, it’s been three months, and VTB representatives said in court that “Mechel” does not fulfil its obligations in the new agreement – the terms of transfer agreed amount of interest is omitted. The representative of “Mechel” in turn, said that the company had failed to meet all conditions, “not so easy”.

The peak of “Transaero” and “UTair”

The collapse of the largest Russian private airline, Transaero, the second largest passenger traffic in Russia, proved completely unexpected for the passengers and other people. The first “bell” was the claim of the Bank “FC Opening” for recovery from the carrier is 1 billion rubles filed in the arbitration court of Moscow on August 18. And on 1 September it became known about 250-billion-dollar debt “Transaero” and the government plan of salvation by absorption of “Aeroflot”.

This plan, as the following scenario, involving the acquisition of control over a crisis carrier S7 airlines, have not been achieved, then lenders are massively present to Transaero claims. At the moment the largest claims are made Aeroflot (more than 8 billion rubles), and foreign companies “VTB-Leasing” (over 145 million), structures “Rosneft” (more than 4 billion rubles), Bank “FC OTKRITIE” (more than 3 billion rubles). Arbitration of St. Petersburg in December at the request of the savings Bank has imposed a “Transaero” bankruptcy procedure — supervision. The debt to the largest Russian Bank in the amount of 442,5 million roubles included in the register of creditors ‘ claims. Earlier in the bankruptcy case came as VTB, Alfa Bank and the Russian Federal tax service.

Unlike broken into a tailspin Transaero, another major Russian private airline “UTair” at the end of the year failed to emerge from a protracted nosedive. Assistance was provided by the authorities of Tyumen region and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous district — Yugra, approved incorporation into the share capital of the airline in the amount of 14 billion rubles, promised assistance from the Federal government.

UTair, whose total debt at the beginning of the year amounted to $ 167 billion in 2015 was able to negotiate with creditors about restructuring. Arbitration KHMAO in November stopped which lasted from December 2014 bankruptcy proceedings of the carrier.

Bankruptcy of physicists and lyric poets

Institute of bankruptcy of citizens without the status of individual entrepreneurs was launched in Russia on 1 October. In the early days of the creditors, mostly banks, have filed several allegations of the insolvency of a number of VIPs.

So, the savings Bank has demanded to declare bankrupt businessman and part-time theatrical figure of Vladimir Kekhman, CEO of the largest fruit importer JFC group, as well as the Novosibirsk Opera and ballet theatre and artistic Director of the Mikhailovsky theatre in St. Petersburg. Sberbank reported that the amount of debt Kekhman in front of him is more than 4.5 billion rubles. The merits of the case have not yet been considered.

The Bank of Moscow from VTB group filed for bankruptcy the former owner of Cherkizovsky market, the founder of the act group of the businessman Telman Ismailov, acting as the guarantor controlled by companies when they receive large loans. One of such loans arbitration of Moscow in October ordered the company Ismailova “KBF AST” more than 213 million dollars. To obtain the status of a bankrupt, not against, it seems, and Ismailov himself: he also filed in the arbitration court of the Moscow region statement of its insolvency.

Listed in top-50 Russian Bank Zenit demanded to declare bankrupt because of a debt of 215 million rubles closest relatives of the singer Alsou: father – former Senator from Republic Altai Ralif Safin, and her two brothers – businessmen Ruslan and Marat Savinyh. For debtors all ended well – they in a short time concluded with the Bank settlement agreement.

And here the Deputy of the state Duma Oleg Mikheev less fortunate. On application by the creditor LLC “Zarina”, to whom he owes 175 million rubles, Mikheev December 2 was declared bankrupt, the court imposed on the debtor procedure of realization of property. And in court, the MP said that the total amount of his debts exceeds 9.6 billion rubles.

Forcing the banker Pugachev to pay debts

As part of the ongoing 2010 proceedings about bankruptcy of Mezhprombank arbitration of Moscow in April, according to the Agency for Deposit insurance has attracted the beneficiary’s credit institution ex-Senator Sergey Pugachev to vicarious liability.

The court decided to collect from Joe and his solidary co-defendants — the last Chairman of the Board BCH Marina Illarionova, and two other ex-Board Chairman Alexander Didenko and Alexey Zlobina — a total of 75.6 billion rubles. The court found them guilty of committing acts that led to the bankruptcy of the BCH, in particular — in the issuance of deliberately non-performing loans and liquid assets.

This is a record in the Russian judicial practice, the size of attracting top managers to vicarious liability. The appeal and cassation upheld the determination of the Tribunal of first instance, but the ex-Senator has filed a complaint in Russia’s Supreme court. It will be reviewed, likely in 2016.

In parallel, the DIA is trying in an English court to recover from Pugachev funds, which, according to plaintiff, had been illegally withdrawn ex-Senator from controlled Bank. London’s high court froze Pugachev’s assets around the world for $ 2 billion. Acts of London the court added to the materials of the Russian business about bankruptcy MPB. Pugachev himself, according to the DIA, hidden in France.

Who is left on the tube?

The case of the arbitration court of the Sakhalin region far attracted worldwide attention to the rivalry between the two Russian mining giants – the biggest oil company Rosneft and gas major Gazprom.

“Rosneft” asked the operator of the project “Sakhalin-2” Sakhalin Energy (50% plus one share of Gazprom), to provide it access to a pipeline project to transport its gas. The oilers would like to pump up to 8 billion cubic meters per year from its fields in the North of Sakhalin island to the LNG plant which Rosneft and its partners, such as ExxonMobil, are going to build in the South of the island. After Sakhalin Energy denied, citing a lack of spare capacity, the oil company appealed to the court.

Arbitration courts of two instances have refused to Rosneft in a lawsuit. However, a third court – arbitration of the far Eastern district sided with the plaintiff. The district court in September ordered Sakhalin Energy to provide “Rosneft” access to free capacities of a gas pipeline. The court pointed out that Sakhalin Energy is not required to ensure Rosneft’s transportation of 8 billion cubic meters per year, but must provide her with access to actual available capacities, and is, according to the court, approximately 2 billion cubic meters per year.

Gazprom is involved in the case as third party, and Sakhalin Energy filed a cassation appeal to the Supreme court of Russia with a request to cancel the decision of the district court of the far East, but the Russian armed forces in December, these complaints are dismissed. The applicants complaints, you have one chance to cancel are not satisfied with their decision, giving him a Supervisory appeal to the high court.

Rosneft emboss for promotion

Rosneft leads to arbitration courts of another major battle, the prize for winning in which company may be the return from the budget of about 60 billion rubles of customs duties. Opponents largest oil company are the Ministry of energy of Russia and the Federal Agency for subsoil use.

To obtain profit “Rosneft” it is necessary to prove that it produced in 2012-2013 at the Verkhnechonskoye field and exported oil spread customs exemption. To confirm the production and export of oil can lightroomo the energy Ministry and Rosnedra. However, they do not, because the relevant references for the oilers addressed two years later after we had to do it by the rules. It should be noted that the oil export duty around which there is a dispute, produced not by Rosneft, and her daughter.

The arbitration of Moscow in June agreed with the agencies that stated that for two years has changed the regulatory framework and processing of applications is now beyond the scope of their authority. But two higher instances – appeal and cassation courts of the district – supported “Rosneft”.

Now the energy Ministry and the Federal Agency for subsoil use has remained the only hope for the Supreme court, in December they announced their intention to apply there.

The contractor “Gazprom” in the ring of the creditors

The crisis was overtaken in 2015 one of the largest contractors of Gazprom and state-owned “Avtodor” construction company of the stroygazconsulting (SGC). The consequence of the problems with service of credits was massive complaints of creditors in bankruptcy court.

The large claims filed by Bank of Moscow, Alfa Bank, credit Bank of Moscow, Bank “FC “OTKRITIE”. The total requirements of credit institutions exceeded 30 billion rubles, and almost all of them by the court of first instance had already been granted.

So, Bank of Moscow managed to achieve in the capital’s arbitration court of collecting from the GTS over 18 billion rubles, and with its subsidiaries the “Gaztehlizing” (GTL) — more than 19 billion rubles for the same loan agreements where the borrower was GTL, and the guarantor – SGK. Decisions have not yet entered into force because not verified by the court of appeal.

Interestingly, in the courts of the SGC, owned by 50% of state-owned Gazprombank, Bank of Moscow, VTB controlled by the state, for almost a whole year of trials has never declared its intention to peacefully resolve their differences.

NLMK “leant” Maksimova

Spring word of the Supreme court, finally, concluded many years lasting conflict between Novolipetsk metallurgical works and one of the richest businessmen of Russia Nikolai Maximov. Ended in favor of the plant.

A series of trials between them began after NLMK in December 2007 bought Maksimova of 50% and one share of its “Maxi-group”, uniting a number of metallurgical enterprises.

The package was purchased under an agreement that does not set a fixed price. NLMK has made Maximov about 7 billion rubles of the advance and final payment, the parties were postponed until the complete financial and legal due diligence of companies entering in “Maksi-groups”.

The results of this test NLMK came to the conclusion that at the time of the transaction “Maxi-group” was practically bankrupt and the seller acted in bad faith by hiding the real condition of the asset. Maksimov, however, thought they sold shares worth about 23 billion rubles.

The arbitration of Moscow in February 2014 NLMK on the suit, filed back in 2011 that invalidated the agreement on the sale of shares of “Maxi-group”, to recover from Maksimova 7.3 billion rubles of the advance. The solution then stood in the appellate and cassation instances. The courts supported the arguments of the plaintiff misconduct Maksimova, concealing them of the essential facts, knowing which NLMK could withdraw from the transaction.

Supreme court in April 2015 agreed with the lower courts, putting the point in this long-running case.

The Supreme court took away “Golden parachute”

Trial around the “Golden parachute” ex-head of “Rostelecom” Alexander Provotorov has attracted the attention of not only the public, but also of the legislator. Although the law limiting payments to managers of companies where the state share exceeds 50%, three salaries, was signed in 2014, case on the claim to “Rostelecom” campaign continued in 2015.

The proceedings initiated by the minority shareholder Oleg Ashurkov, which later joined another minority shareholder Viktor Savchenko and property management. According to the plaintiffs, the Board of Directors of “Rostelecom” Provotorov illegally paid compensation to the maximum amount stipulated by the contract is more than 200 million rubles.

Courts two courts in St. Petersburg granted the petition, but the court of cassation — arbitration of the Northwest district in October 2014 cancelled the acts of lower courts and recognized the legitimacy of the payments. The district court took into account that Provotorov by the time he returned the “Golden parachute” after the entry into force of the law.

The plaintiffs appealed this decision, and the economic Collegium of the Supreme court in March again recognized “Golden parachute” is completely illegal. She came to the conclusion that the variable part of the remuneration should depend on the results of the company and the personal contribution of President. And since the courts found that the key performance indicators of the company’s work did not reach the absolute level, the compensation was excessive, and its payment led to the violation of the interests of shareholders.

The Supreme court in August dismissed a Supervisory appeal Provotorov and “Rostelecom” on the resolution of its economic Collegium, thus fully completing the trial.

Uralvagonzavod holds the Fort

Alfa-Bank, once the largest Russian private Bank, in April filed to “Uralvagonzavod” (UVZ), the largest company of tank engineering and defense complex in General, a large claim in arbitration of Moscow. The Bank was required to pay about 9 billion rubles debt on loans and to foreclose on pledged to secure the obligations of the borrower immovable property – land plots and industrial buildings UVZ.

The defendant had been deferring consideration of the requirements in the arbitration court of Chelyabinsk region at the location of the property.

After this, Alfa-Bank once again stated claims to UVZ for the same amount in the capital’s arbitration court, referring to another basis of the claim. Its intention to return the case to Moscow, the Bank explained the slowness of the Chelyabinsk arbitration, which, in the opinion of the credit institution, is in no hurry to settle the dispute and to restore the violated rights of the plaintiff.

The arbitration of Moscow, however, refused to consider the newly filed claims. Hearings in Chelyabinsk will continue right after the New year.