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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Russia's Sberbank and its CEO German Gref are among the defendants in a lawsuit filed in the United States over the case on Russian corporate raiding against OJSC Pavlovskgranit, one of the largest granite producers in Europe, a US court's documents seen by Sputnik revealed.
"This Complaint arises out of a textbook case of Russian corporate raiding against Sergey Poymanov and Irina Podgornaya ("Majority Shareholders") and their company Pavlovskgranit ("P-Granit")… The Defendants wanted both to eliminate P-Granit as a major competitor on the Russian granite market and to seize its assets," the documents said.
Poymanov and Podgornaya, who assigned their claims against the defendants to plaintiff PPF Management LLC law firm, are demanding compensation of damage in the amount of $750 million dollars over seven points of the lawsuit.
The list of defendants comprises 22 individuals and legal entities, including Sberbank, Sberbank Capital, Promsvyazbank, the Sberbank CEO and his son Oleg Gref, Yuri Zhukov, a co-owner of the National Non-Metal Company.
According to the lawsuit, Poymanov took the loan of 5.1 billion rubles ($86 million at current exchange rate) in Sberbank in 2008 to procure the share of his partner. In 2009, P-Granit failed to fulfill debt obligations, and Sberbank offered a refinancing loan with the sale of the controlling stake of P-Granit to Sberbank Capital. Poymanov did not accept these conditions and Sberbank demanded to repay the remaining debt of 4.5 billion rubles ($75.8 million). Zhukov offered Poymanov to unite their assets and avoid payment of the debt, however Poymanov refused to do so. As a result, the shares in P-Granit were sold to repay the bank debt and afterwords, according to the lawsuit, ended up under Zhukov's control.
"The bank has the information that Poymanov continues attempts to evade responsibility, including criminal. Bank lawyers act in accordance with the current legislation in all cases," a source in Sberbank said.According to the documents, Zhukov masterminded and oversaw the corporate raiding.
The first court hearing over this lawsuit is scheduled for April 20.
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