Sberbank's $42mln action against Cargo JFC suspended
ST. PETERSBURG, June 5 - RAPSI. The St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region Commercial Court suspended proceedings in the lawsuit by Sberbank to recover $41.84 million from Cargo JFC, the judge said at the hearing on Tuesday.
Cargo JFC is part of the JFC group, a major fruit importer to Russia.
The case proceedings have been suspended until the bank's application on entering Cargo JFC creditors' claims in the register is considered. Bankruptcy procedures have been previously initiated at Cargo JFC.
According to the court documents, the court has not yet registered Sberbank's application in the bankruptcy procedure.
At the current moment, creditors are claiming a total of five billion rubles ($149.44 million) from Cargo JFC. On June 5, the St. Petersburg Commercial Court will hear Sberbank's lawsuit to recover 1.4 billion rubles ($41.84 million). A further Sberbank claim for 3.1 billion rubles ($92.65 million) will be handled on June 20 by the Moscow Commercial Court. The same court will also be considering two lawsuits by Raiffeisenbank, roughly totaling 500 million rubles ($14.94 million).
Cargo JFC, like Bonanza International, acted as borrowers under a syndicated loan facility of up to $88 million and 1.5 billion rubles ($44.83 million).
The St. Petersburg Commercial Court put the group's head company into administration in March.
According to JFC February reports, implementing a credit watch was necessary to protect creditors' interests and for the company to continue its operations.
Allegedly, JFCs financial difficulties resulted from trouble on the global market, possibly attributed to the effects of the Arab Spring, which made many agricultural produce distributors bankrupt.
JFC General Director Vladimir Kekhman has said that he is working on resolving the company's financial problems and will be draw up a new business plan in about three months.
Established in St. Petersburg in 1994, the JFC Group comprises fruit production, procurement, storage, distribution and sales companies. It has 3,000 hectares of banana plantations in Ecuador and Costa Rica. JFC runs offices in St. Petersburg, Moscow and other Russian cities, as well as in Cyprus, Ecuador and Costa Rica. It has 3,600 personnel. JFC is engaged in fruit sales in Europe, the Middle East and the CIS.