Appeal in suit on invalidity of Bank of Moscow shares transfer postponed
MOSCOW, October 30 – RAPSI. The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals will hear on November 20 Sergei Devyatkin's appeal against the dismissal of his lawsuit to invalidate the transfer from the Moscow government of its shares in the Bank of Moscow to VTB Bank, the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com) on Tuesday.
VTB, the Moscow Property Management Department, and the Central Fuel Company acted as the co-defendants in the case.
In September, the Moscow Commercial Court dismissed Devyatkin’s claims in full.
Devyatkin's lawyer said his client sought to contest the transactions, as they affect his rights as a possible bidder for the purchase. Devyatkin acted as a private individual and holds no stock in VTB, the Central Fuel Company, or the Bank of Moscow, the lawyer added.
The plaintiff is challenging two consecutive transactions – the contribution of the shares to the company's charter capital by the Property Management Department, and the subsequent sale of the shares to VTB.
In addition, he has requested that the shares be privatized.
Devyatkin believes the transactions are a sham. The shares should have been disposed of through a bidding process, he said. However, they were sold to a predetermined purchaser. VTB, which is 50-percent owned by the state, had no right to buy the shares through bidding by law, which is why the scheme was applied, he said.
A source familiar with the situation told the PRIME business news agency earlier that Devyatkin lives in the Yaroslavl Region. He is unemployed, but has managed to hire three Moscow lawyers, according to the source, confirming that the plaintiff is not a Bank of Moscow shareholder.
As soon as the information on the lawsuit appeared, former Bank of Moscow head Andrei Borodin, who has been placed on Interpol's wanted list, said he was ready to provide legal support to Devyatkin.
Moscow Deputy Mayor Natalia Sergunina said on February 22, 2011 that the Moscow government sold its 46.48 percent stake in the Bank of Moscow and 25 percent plus one share of the Capital Insurance Group, which held 17.32 of the shares in the bank, for 103 billion rubles ($3.28 billion).
The price was 14.4 percent higher than the official appraisal value.
According to Sergunina, the shares first contributed to the group's charter capital and their sale to VTB was completed on February 22. The group was fully owned by the Moscow authorities.