Vodka brands Stolichnaya and Moskovskaya arrested in the Netherlands according to the Yukos case
In the Netherlands, an international arbitration court seized two vodka brands, Stolichnaya and Moskovskaya, at the request of former shareholders of the Yukos oil company.
Ex-shareholders say that this is only the beginning in the proceedings between the former founders, demanding compensation from the Russian side of $ 50 billion. Russia intends to challenge this decision in the Supreme Court.
- The Arbitration Court in The Hague back in 2014 decided to recover $ 50 billion in compensation from the Russian side. Former shareholders lost these investments during the bankruptcy of the company in Russia, the then owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested. Yukos assets for symbolic money transferred to Rosneft. Russia considered the former shareholders to be unscrupulous investors and challenged a court decision in The Hague. However, in February of this year, the appeals court ruled that the initial decision was legal. “As long as the Russian Federation ignores the international courts that are responsible for this, we will confiscate Russian state property in accordance with the law. The claim for trademarks in the Netherlands is only the beginning, - writes NRC with reference to the words of former shareholder Tim Osborne. If, until September, shareholders do not pay their claims of $ 50 billion, then the brands intend to put up for auction. They will be sold at the highest cost that they will be offered for them, the proceeds will go towards debt compensation.
These vodka brands are the subject of another major Russian-Dutch lawsuit. Another controversy erupted between Russia and Spirits International, a Luxembourg-registered company in Rotterdam, headquartered in Luxembourg, which is part of the SPI Group of the Russian. The SPI group in January this year lost a long lawsuit in the Netherlands Supreme Court for the right to sell alcohol in Benelux countries. The SPI Group had to transfer the rights to the Benelux from a Dutch court to Russia and return the profit since 1999, writes NRC. In the 90s, these brands were illegally privatized at a reduced cost, businessman Yuri Shefler acquired 43 brands, including those around which the conflict broke out, for only 300 thousand dollars, while the Accounts Chamber estimated their value at the time of purchase at no less than 400 million dollars. By 2015, the cost of only two of these brands exceeded two billion dollars, writes RBC.
Disputes in The Hague are not the only demands from ex-investors to Russia. According to The Insider, similar cases are also being considered in Switzerland and Canada. The total amount of claims is another 18.5 billion dollars.