VTB Bank files fresh suit seeking $38 million from indebted Mechel
MOSCOW, May 19 (RAPSI) - The Moscow Commercial Court has registered a lawsuit filed by VTB Bank seeking 1.9 billion rubles ($38.3 million) of debt from steel giant Mechel and its subsidiaries, according to court records.
The co-defendants in the case are Yakutugol Holding, Korshunov Mining Plant and Southern Kuzbass Coal Company. The third party in the case is VTB 24.
On Monday, the Moscow Commercial Court accepted an appeal filed by Mechel challenging an April ruling that orders it to pay VTB Bank 50.2 billion rubles (about $1 billion) in overdue debt.
On April 9, the Moscow Commercial Court ruled in favor of a VTB lawsuit for the early payment of the loan after Mechel ceased servicing the loan in March 2014.
The court ordered Mechel to pay over 44.5 bln rubles ($0.9 bln) of the principle, and 3.2 bln rubles ($65 mln) in interest, plus late payment penalties of 1.9 bln rubles ($38.6 mln) on the principle and 557 mln rubles ($11.3 mln) on the interest.
In early March, VTB announced that it would file a claim for the court to declare Mechel bankrupt. However, the bank has yet to take this step.
Meanwhile, VTB President Andrei Kostin said on April 6 that Mechel was ready to pay off the debt and confirmed that negotiations with the company had occurred.
Mechel is embroiled in billions of rubles worth of debt. Sberbank, VTB Bank and Gazprombank are among its major creditors. It has been negotiating debt restructuring for some time, so far unsuccessfully.
Six suits were brought by state-run Sberbank against Mechel companies last October.
On May 7, Sberbank filed a lawsuit against Mechel and four of its subsidiaries to recover 3.8 billion rubles ($76.6 mln). This Monday, the Moscow Commercial Court registered another lawsuit from Sberbank against Mechel and five of its subsidiaries. The grounds and subject of lawsuit have not been disclosed.
Industry Minister Denis Manturov said in March that Mechel cut its debt to $6.4 billion from $8.6 billion, according to RIA Novosti. About 40 percent of Mechel’s debt is in rubles.