Russian businessman threatens to sue IKEA again for 98 billion rubles
According to Konstantin Ponomarev's ultimatum, IKEA must pay him 98 billion rubles until January 30, 2017, or the entrepreneur will appeal to court.
Businessman Konstantin Ponomarev said that the Russian branch of IKEA is to pay him 98.6 billion rubles. This amount does not include 25 billion rubles that the company has already paid the businessman on pre-trial settlement agreement in late 2010. Moskovsky Komsomolets has obtained Ponomarev's new formal requirement and reports that the requested amount is comparable with IKEA's planned investments in developing their business in Russia.
In addition, it is reported that Ponomarev set the deadline for the payment: "If IKEA MOS LLC does not fulfill these obligations or does not invest enough effort to ensure their execution within thirty days from the date of submission of the requirement, then I will demand their execution in court." The message is dated December 30, 2016. Hence, 2 weeks remain until the deadline.
The long-standing conflict with Konstantin Ponomarev may force IKEA to fold its business operations in Russia completely.
According to the media outlet, even now IKEA is receiving proposals from middlemen, who offer to settle the conflict for half the amount stated by Ponomarev. "Apparently, someone had time to get acquainted with the content of the letter and knows the exact amount," MK quotes an informed source.
Meanwhile, IKEA has not commented on the information about Ponomarev's new attempts to receive billions of dollars from the company and reported that IKEA continues its major investment program in the Russian economy worth more than 100 billion rubles. However, the press service of the company noted that Ponomarev's actions and related litigation can lead to a slowdown in the implementation of the investment program. IKEA sees these actions as an attempt to use illegal schemes to obtain money from the company.
The dispute between Konstantin Ponomarev and IKEA's Russian branch began in 2008 due to lease payments for generators in Mega Dybenko and Mega Parnas in St. Petersburg. In July 2008, IKEA MOS decided to discontinue partnership with Ponomarev, seeing that the amount they pay for rent generators was greatly overstated. So, by 2010, IKEA's debt reached sky-high rates. Konstantin Ponomarev charged 27 billion rubles from IKEA through arbitration.
In an effort to avoid a scandal, IKEA signed a settlement agreement in November 2010, and Ponomarev receuved 25 billion rubles. The agreement stipulated that the parties were to completely abandon any claims to each other. However, this did not prevent Konstantin Ponomarev from demanding another 33 billion rubles from IKEA. Only three years later, the court recognized the demands of Ponomarev's company Rukon illegal.
Still, in 2016, Konstantin Ponomarev managed to obtain another 597 million rubles from IKEA MOS through court. Previously, the CrimeRussia wrote about the possibility that Ponomarev had strong ties in Prosecutor General's Office and the judiciary system.
On January 17, 2017, the Supreme Court will consider the argument between IKEA MOS and a Russian citizen Konstantin Ponomarev. IKEA was optimistic and expressed its confidence that "the Board on Civil Cases of the Supreme Court would be objective."