Sberbank and German Gref to be sued for illegal takeover in USA
An American company has filed a lawsuit for 750 million dollars in the case of loss of control over the Russian enterprise Pavlovskgranit. German Gref and Sberbank are among the defendants.
In the USA, a lawsuit has been filed against Sberbank and Chairman of its board German Gref in the case of illegal takeover of an enterprise for gravel extraction, Pavlovskgranit. This has been reported by RIA Novosti citing court documents at the disposal of the agency.
The plaintiff is a law company PPF Management LLC in Delaware. It demanded compensation for damage in the amount of 750 million dollars by seven counts on behalf of Sergey Poymanov and Irina Podgornaya, who used to be holders of the controlling stake in Pavlovskgranit OJSC.
The lawsuit is addressed to 22 legal entities and individuals, including Sberbank OJSC, Promsvyazbank, and German Gref. In addition, co-owner of Natsionalnaya Nerudnaya Kompaniya (NNK) Yury Zhukov, Sberbank kapital and its General Director Ashot Khachaturyants, and NEO Tsentr and its director Oleg Gref are also defendants in the case. The son of Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika Artem is too among the alleged accomplices.
The case materials state that the defendants wanted to eliminate Pavlovskgranit, which is the largest granite manufacturer in Europe, as a competitor in the market, and seize its assets. “The bank, which was used by the shareholders, and their biggest competitor together wanted to take advantage of the market downturn and intervene in the negotiations on loan refinancing held by Poymanov,” says the statement of claim.
According to the documents, it was Yury Zhukov who was “behind the conspiracy implemented by the defendants and other companies under his direct or indirect control.” “The defendant Zhukov needed the participation and protection on the part of the defendant German Gref, head of the largest bank in Russia, and the defendant Sberbank of Russia,” the lawsuit says. Based on the case materials, German Gref would allegedly use his reputation and influence to protect the defendant's actions from investigations and claims by the FAS.
Let us recall that the Voronezh Directorate of ICR had initiated a criminal case against businessman Sergey Poymanov, which was referred to the prosecutor's office in August last year. The former owner of Pavlovskgranit Holding Company has been charged with abuse of authority in the organization of a resale chain for a concrete plant in Voronezh with loss in the amount of 10 million rubles. In parallel, the Moscow Region Arbitration Court has declared Poymanov bankrupt and imposed a property procedure on him. The businessman’s personal debt to creditors has totaled more than 3 billion rubles.
Initially, the defendants in the case had been charged with embezzlement through swindling in the amount of 225 million rubles ($3.3 million). In the final version of the indictment, the article was changed to 1.5-billion-ruble ($22.45 million) embezzlement.