$330 mln shareholders' lawsuit against TNK-BP to be heard on March 20
MOSCOW, February 22 - RAPSI, Sergei Feklyunin. The Saratov Regional Commercial Court has scheduled for March 20 the hearing of a 9.984 billion ruble ($330.3 million) claim against TNK-BP, the court told RAPSI on Friday.
The lawsuit was filed on February 18 by Cyprus-registered Investments Limited and Protsvetanie Holdings Ltd., which is managed by the Prosperity Capital Management investment fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands.
The Saratov Refinery, in which Lancrenan and Protsvetanie hold minority stakes, has been named a third party in the lawsuit, as the plaintiffs seek damages to be paid to the plant.
The two Cypriot companies have already filed lawsuits for over 4.5 billion rubles ($150 million) in damages from TNK-BP.
The lawsuits were dismissed by the Saratov Commercial Court and the Twelfth Commercial Court of Appeals in Saratov upheld its decision in November 2012.The parties have not filed a cassation appeal.
The plaintiffs argued in their previous lawsuits that the 13 billion ruble agreement ($432 million) on refining services that the Saratov refinery and TNK-BP signed in 2004 was not approved by the general shareholder meeting in accordance with the established procedure.
The court materials state that the plaintiffs claimed that the subsequent transactions were made at below the market price, as a result of which the refinery suffered revenue losses of 4.582 billion rubles ($152 million).
The first-instance court dismissed the lawsuit, although the judge agreed that the agreement was not properly approved. However, the judge ruled that the plaintiffs did not calculate correctly the market value of the refining services and accepted the defendant's assurance at face value that there would be no negative consequences for the refinery.
The Saratov Refinery was established in 1934. It annually refines around 6 million metric tonnes (44.1 million bbl) of crude oil. Its largest shareholder is TNK-BP Holding, which holds 83.8% of its charter capital.