Court to hear claim over disruption of Vanino port privatization auction
MOSCOW, August 29 - RAPSI, Sergei Feklyunin. The Moscow Commercial Court has scheduled September 24 for its hearing of a lawsuit filed by the Federal Agency for State Property Management against Seltekhstroy for 300 million rubles ($10.7 million). The suit centers on Seltekhstroys alleged disruption of the state auctioning of a controlling stake in the Vanino port (Kahbarovsk Territory), the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI).
The May 19 state auctioning of a 73-percent interest in the Vanino Sea Commercial Port was attended by 14 bidders, who had completed over 700 steps in the auctioning process before little-known Seltekhstroy offered the winning bid of 10.8 billion rubles ($386 million). The reserve price was extremely small in comparison - 934 million rubles ($33 million).
Seltekhstroy paid a 93.4 million rubles ($3.3 million) deposit, but did not pay for the shares by the deadline of June 24. For this reason, the auction was declared a failure, and the defendants deposit was forfeited. Nevertheless, the agency was not satisfied with merely taking the defendants deposit. It has sought an additional 300.46 million rubles in damages at court ($10.7 million).
The Vanino Sea Commercial Port is the largest cargo handling, transportation, and forwarding company in Kahbarovsk Territory. Its controlling owner is the state (55 percent), while Rusal, an aluminum giant, holds over 20 percent. The companys cargo turnover exceeded 6 million tonnes in 2010.