MOSCOW, January 11 - RAPSI. BidontheCity, a US-based property sales website, and Global Advertising Strategies, an international marketing agency, have filed suit in New York against the Russian media holding, RosBusinessConsulting (RBC), and its board members, including CEO Sergei Lavrukhin, Kommersant daily reported.
The plaintiffs assert that RBC failed to fulfill its obligations as part of a joint project known as BidontheCity Russia, and then unilaterally announced that the project's termination.
The applicants have assessed the reputation and business damages at $30 million.
Bidonthecity.com, BidontheCity Russia and Global Advertising Strategies filed their lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on December 19, 2012.
RBC-TV and Halverston Holdings Limited, both RBC branches, as well as ten former and current board members of the holding, including RBC founders Alexander Morgulchik and current Director General Sergei Lavrukhin, are defendants in the case.
Kommersant reported that in August 2010 BidontheCity, Global Advertising Strategies and RBC set up BidontheCity Russia, in which each of the parties had 45, 10 and 45 percent stakes respectively.
RBC undertook to invest $2 million in the new project's PR and advertising campaigns. However, according to the lawsuit, the defendants never met this obligation, although RBC's financial reports for 2010 read that $2 million were invested in the project.
Morgulchik and Lavrukhin assured the partners that the delays were caused by changes in RBC's management structure, the lawsuit reads, when Russian oligarch, Brooklyn Nets owner, and former presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov's ONEXIM became the holding's main partner.
On November 30, 2010, RBC stated in its quarterly report that BidontheCity Russia was closed after an assets audit was carried out as part of its optimization program.
The defendants had no right to do this under the terms of the contract, the plaintiffs maintain.
Lavrukhin refused to comment, having re-addressed all questions to ONEXIM. BidontheCity and Global Advertising Strategies did not respond to Kommersant's inquiries.