MOSCOW, February 10 (RAPSI) – The Moscow Commercial Court has awarded Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) 7.3 billion rubles ($229 million at the time of the deal) in its lawsuit against Maxi Group’s founder and to invalidate a transaction to purchase a stake in his group, a court representative told RAPSI on Monday.
The court also dismissed NLMK’s request to collect the unlawfully obtained 5.9 billion rubles from Nikolai Maximov. Both suits were heard simultaneously.
In January 2008 Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) paid Nikolai Maximov an advance of $300 million for a 50% plus one share stake in Maxi-Group, which comprised various businesses. The final price was to be calculated after a financial assessment of Maxi-Group companies.
In December 2009, after completing the financial and legal due diligence of Maxi-Group, NLMK demanded that Maximov return part of the advance under the transaction in excess of the final purchase price.
Both parties later filed lawsuits regarding the price of the deal. Maximov claimed that the portfolio he sold was worth 23 billion rubles ($721.4 million). NLMK argued that Maximov misled them because he withheld information about Maxi-Group’s debt and looming bankruptcy. NLMK claimed that Maxi-Group was insolvent at the time of the transaction.
The case was sent to the International Commercial Arbitration Court (ICAC) at the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In 2011, the ICAC awarded Maximov 9.5 billion rubles in compensation from NLMK and dismissed the steel company’s request to collect the unlawfully obtained 5.9 billion rubles from Maximov.
That ruling was later invalidated by state commercial courts, including the Supreme Commercial Court, which ruled that the case is a corporate dispute and hence must be sent to a state commercial court.