Russian court rules Runway Duty Free owner owes $57.6 million to VTB
MOSCOW, September 12 (RAPSI) – The Moscow Regional Commercial Court has granted a claim filed by VTB to include nearly 3.3 million rubles (about $57.6 million) in creditors demands list against Arial, managing company of the Runway Duty Free shop network in Russian airports, court’s ruling reads on Tuesday.
On June 2, the court initiated monitoring procedure against Arial on request of an offshore company Teviz Holding Ltd. The latter company’s 2.4 billion rubles (nearly $42 million) demands were included in creditors’ claims list as well. Bankruptcy case against Arial is set for October 10.
Arial operates the Runway Duty Free network in Russia’s airports. The statistics for 2013 show that the company owns more than 20 shops in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Novosibirsk airport Tolmachevo. Arial purchased 66.66% of shares in Aerofirst from Aeroflot for 1.23 billion rubles ($20 million at the current exchange rate) in 2012. Later Arial has bought the remaining shares from Irish duty-free operator Aer Rianta.
On April 27, the court introduced a monitoring procedure with respect to Aerofirst just in few weeks after taking the same decision as concerned Arial. In June, the court also ruled to include a 3.1-billion-ruble (about $52 million at the current exchange rate) Aerofirst’s debt to VTB bank in the list of its creditors’ claims. In September, the court ruled in favor of Teviz and included a 466-million-ruble (about $8 million) debt in the list as well.
As it has been reported earlier, Aerofirst operates duty free shops under “Moscow Duty Free” brand since its first shop was established in Sheremetyevo in 1988, what makes it the oldest duty-free operator in Russia. The company website shows that it has ten shops in Sheremetyevo F terminal and 13 shops in Domodedovo airport.