Bankrupt JFC's CEO restriction notice lifted
ST PETERSBURG, March 4 - RAPSI. A St. Peterburg district court has suspended a travel ban imposed on chairman of the board of directors of the JFC Group due to debt, the Federal Bailiff Service told RIA Novosti on Monday.
The service imposed temporary travel restrictions on February 12 on Vladimir Kekhman, who is also the director of the St. Peterburg's Mikhailovsky Theater, due to his large outstanding debt. The bailiffs later seized his property and are deducting his monthly pay to collect the debt. Several debt collection cases have been opened against him, with Sberbank being one of his major creditors.
In January, the police searched his office at the theater. They also searched the homes of former JFC Group executives in connection with a 10 billion ruble ($326.4 million) fraud investigation.
Kekhman was appointed to head the theater in 2007. He donated over $30 million to renovate the theater and implement opera and ballet troupe cultural initiatives.
In October, the London High Court recognized Kekhman as bankrupt.
The JFC Group's major creditors include the Bank of Moscow, Sberbank, Promsvyazbank, and Uralsib Bank.
Kekhman and several senior executives have guaranteed long-term loans totaling about $306 million.
In March 2012, the St. Petersburg Commercial Court of Appeals approved a supervision procedure for JFC Group. Kekhman was appointed the company's CEO later that month. In May 2012, the court introduced a supervision procedure in two of the group's other companies, Cargo JFC and Bonanza International. By July 2012, the creditors' complaints amounted to around RUB 18 billion ($600 million).
Established in St. Petersburg in 1994, the JFC Group comprises fruit production, procurement, storage, distribution, and sales companies. It has 3,000 hectares of banana plantations in Ecuador and Costa Rica. JFC runs offices in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and other Russian cities, as well as in Cyprus, Ecuador and Costa Rica. It has a staff of approximately 3,600. JFC deals in fruit sales in Europe, the Middle East, and the CIS.