MOSCOW, March 3 (RAPSI) – The Moscow Region Commercial Court has upheld a lower court’s ruling to collect from loan guarantors for the company Potok (former Mirax Group), founded by businessman Sergei Polonsky, 19.9 billion rubles ($270 million) in favor of the Dutch company Emerging Markets Structured Product (EMSP), according to court records.
In July 2015, the Moscow Commercial Court ruled that 14.5 bln rubles ($197 mln) of the principal and interest be paid to the Dutch firm. In October, an appellate court upheld the ruling. Defendants have filed a cassational appeal with the Moscow Region Commercial Court.
In September 2013, EMSP filed a lawsuit to collect a joint debt under a loan agreement of March 15, 2012. The loan was supposed to be repaid by April 2013. Initially, the company demanded just over 16 bln rubles ($217.3 mln) but later increased the claim to 19.9 bln rubles ($270 mln).
According to the media, EMSP is acting on behalf of Sberbank CIB, the corporate and investment banking business of Sberbank created as part of the integration of Sberbank and Troika Dialog.
The defendant’s representative in court objected to the amount of interest that the plaintiff claimed and presented other calculations, 17.9 bln rubles ($243 mln).
Earlier, the court dismissed Polonsky’s motion to involve him as a third party in the case. The businessman explained that the contract was secured by a protection agreement between EMSP, Polonsky and Troika Dialog. He further stated that ruling for the plaintiff would result in recourse claims against Polonsky, who is the controlling shareholder of the guarantor companies.
Polonsky is the founder of Potok (formerly Mirax Group), a diversified corporation that has been involved in several large development projects including Federation Tower in the Moscow International Business Center, office buildings Mirax Plaza, Poklonnaya 11 and Admiral, condominium developments Fort Kutuzov, Kutuzovskaya Riviera, Rublyovskaya Riviera, Mirax Park, Golden Keys 1 and 2, and the Well House.
He ceded operational control of the company in 2012. Potok announced in October 2012 that businessman Alexei Alyakin signed a framework agreement to buy 100 percent of the company’s stock from Polonsky. However, in February 2013 Polonsky, who was in prison in Cambodia at the time, sent an order to Potok to dismiss Alyakin from his position in the company.
In May 2015, the Cambodian authorities, where Polonsky had been avoiding Russian prosecution, extradited him to Russia. He is currently in detention in Moscow and facing fraud charges on the theft of 5.7 bln rubles ($77.4 mln) from Kutuzovskaya Mile interest holders.