Russian court sizes Baring Vostok’s share in Vostochny bank in $155 mln damages case
MOSCOW, September 2 (RAPSI) – The Commercial Court of the Amur Region has sized a 41.6% share of Evison Holdings Limited, the Cypriot structure of Baring Vostok, in Vostochny bank, according to court records.
This July, Vostochny bank filed an application seeking the recovery of alleged damages in the amount of 9.8 billion rubles (about $155 million) from Evison Holdings Limited and the bank founder Michael Calvey, accused of a 2.5-billion-ruble ($40 million) embezzlement, with the court; it asked to freeze 334.2 billion of the Cypriot company’s shares.
According to Vostochny, in the period of making unfair deals and actions the bank was controlled by the defendants. Calvey as a final beneficiary of Baring Vostok, had a practical ability to determine actions of the claimant through the direct shareholder Evison Holdings Limited.
The bank believes that deals and actions resulted in material losses for the financial organization have been made under the direct influence of the defendants.
In June, the Commercial Court of Amur Region upheld ban on additional share issue for Vostochny bank.
Earlier, Finvision Holdings company, Vostochny minority shareholder, filed an application seeking to invalidate several decisions of the bank’s board of directors on issuing 500 billion additional shares and price approval of placement of additional shares in the amount of 1 kopek for a share.
The lawsuit hearing will be held on July 1. As a provisional measure, the court prohibited additional share issue on June 5. The bank appealed the order.
In May, the court obliged the Cypriot Evison Holdings Limited, through which Baring Vostok and Russia Partners investment funds control over 50% of the Vostochny bank’s stock, to execute a call option agreement signed with Finvision Holdings company. Under the settlement’s terms, Evison Holdings Limited was to sell 9.99% of Vostochny bank shares to the bank’s minority shareholder Finvision Holdings but repudiated the contract, the plaintiff claimed.
Previously, the court seized 9.99% of Vostochny bank shares belonging to Evison Holdings Limited, the defendant’s lawyer Dmitry Savochkin told RAPSI on April 1.
On April 11, Moscow’s Basmanny District Court released Baring Vostok investment company’s founder, U.S. citizen Michael Calvey, who stands charged with the 2.5-billion-ruble embezzlement, from detention and put him under house arrest.
In mid-February, Moscow’s Basmanny District Court ordered detention of Calvey and five other defendants including Baring Vostok Industry Partner for the financial industry sector, French citizen Philippe Delpal, the company’s partners Vagan Abgaryan, Baring Vostok Investment Director Ivan Zyuzin, Maxim Vladimirov and ex- chairman of Vostochny bank board Alexey Kordichev.
According to investigation, Calvey knowing about a 2.5-billion-ruble debt of the First Collector Bureau, a firm under his control, has organized the sale of its shares to Vostochny bank that has led to embezzlement.
The Investigative Committee claims that he committed a crime that could not be classified as business crime because he used a chain of sham companies settling the deal. Moreover, investigators say they have a PricewaterhouseCoopers’ audit report on the done deal estimating the sold shares at 600,000 rubles, which indicates an instance of fraud.
Calvey denies allegations insisting that the deal was fair as both companies agreed its terms and stood for it, including a person reporting an alleged crime to law enforcement bodies. He noted that a report has been filed with police by a member of Vostochny bank board of directors Sherzod Yusupov. According to Calvey, the real reason of his prosecution is a wide corporate dispute related to the control of the bank by two groups of shareholders: Baring Vostok and stockholders coming from Uniastrum bank, which was reorganized and joined to Vostochny in early 2017.
Baring Vostok company founded by Calvey in 1994 focuses on private equity investments in the CIS and Russia. The company has invested in shares of Yandex, Vkusvill, Tinkoff Bank and other major projects.