16 January 2020
A1, a company owned by Mikhil Fridman, is to have a dispute with Elena Baturina. The company intends to collect a debt of her insolvent brother in the amount of 3.25 billion rubles from the richest woman in Russia. For that sake, A1 will have to bring the attention of the court to a deal cut in 2001, when Baturins divided their assets in Inteco, and to prove that Yury Luzhkov’s widow has never owned her brother’s share. What are the prospects of the hearings? And how did Fridman’s company interfere in the family business?
Elena and Viktor Baturin had created Inteco together – and had split the shares 50/50. But when Viktor divorced in early 2000s, he left half of his 50% shares to his former spouse. Later Elena purchased this block of shares, and after that she obtained the remainder. How exactly is yet another matter to argue about.
In 2005 Viktor was fired from Inteco. Brother and sister fought in court for a couple of years, and then reached a settlement agreement in 2007. An annex was signed together with the agreement that became the core issue. Viktor’s copy presumably says that Elena has to pay out a market price of 25% shares to him, while there is no such stipulation in his sister’s copy.
And what does A1 have to do with all that? The company purchased the rights of legal claim to Viktor Baturin in December 2018. Vedomosti write that the company had been monitoring the process for a while and probably even paid for the services of Mr Baturin’s lawyers.
The investment company is very likely to have to bring the attention of the court to a verbal deal of 2001 regarding transfer of 25% Inteco shares by oral agreement. In other words, they need to prove that Elena Baturina has never owned this block of shares.
But first of all it is necessary to restore the statute of limitations, Dmitry Lobachev, Project Manager of Khrenov&Partners, insists. “It will be required to restore the statute of limitations or to invoke those principles of the Civic law, those relations that are not covered by the statute of limitations. There has to be a serious reason why no legal actions have been taken. In fact, 19 years is a long period of time, but if acting logically, this term must be restored’.
The full article may be viewed here (in Russian).