Minority shareholders appeal dismissal of claim against TNK-BP
MOSCOW, January 9 (RAPSI, Sergei Feklyunin) – The Russian Supreme Commercial Court will consider an appeal filed against lower court decisions to dismiss a lawsuit seeking 4.582 billion rubles ($138 million) in damages from TNK-BP Holding (now RN-Holding), a court representative told RAPSI.
An appeal was lodged by the minority shareholders of TNK-BP's Saratov Refinery. A date for the hearing has not yet been set.
The suit was filed in May 2011 by Cyprus-registered Lancrenan Investments Limited and Protsvetanie Holdings Ltd, which is managed by Cayman Islands corporation Prosperity Capital Management Investment. The plaintiffs argued that the 13 billion ruble (approximately $398 million) agreement for refining services, which the Saratov refinery and TNK-BP signed in 2004 was not approved by the general shareholder meeting in accordance with the established procedure.
The plaintiffs claimed that the deal upon which the agreement was based fell below market value, as a result of which the refinery suffered losses of 4.582 billion rubles. TNK-BP held a 90% ownership share over the refinery at the time.
The lower courts dismissed the suit. They agreed with plaintiffs that the breach of the federal law on public companies was broken, but held that the compensation would be due in case of negative consequences of the deal, not merely owing to the fact that the deal was reached without prior consent by third-party shareholders. The plaintiffs did not calculate the market value of the refining services correctly, and the refinery bore no damages, the courts ruled.
The plaintiffs then filed a supervisory appeal with the Supreme Commercial Court.
Rosneft took over TNK-BP in a $44.38 billion deal plus shares in March 2013 after a deal was reached with British BP and Russian AAR Consortium. The venture’s traded unit is now called RN-Holding.