As Kommersant learned, large lenders to the Antipinsky Oil Refinery are going to challenge the appointment of a temporary plant manager proposed by Sberbank during its bankruptcy proceedings. Lenders believe that Sberbank - the largest debt holder of the refinery - is affiliated with the shareholders of the plant. They fear that by appointing a loyal interim manager, the bank will try to avoid subsidiary liability.
The creditor banks of the Antipinsky Oil Refinery intend to challenge the appointment of an interim manager proposed by Sberbank of SBK LLC, Kommersant sources said. On September 3, the Arbitration Court of the Tyumen Region introduced an observation procedure in relation to the refinery on the statement of SBC. Sberbank remains the largest creditor of the plant, and also owns a stake in Sokar Energoresurs (which owns 80% of the refinery). Other major lenders are PSB (claims - about 7.7 billion rubles), MKB (1.9 billion rubles) and Absolut Bank (3.2 billion rubles). The funds of these banks were issued to “traders adjacent to the refinery,” and the guarantor was the Antipinsky refinery, a source in the oil industry said.
The Absolut Bank confirmed to Kommersant that they intend to dispute both the introduction of the monitoring procedure and the candidacy proposed by SBC for the interim manager from the SRO "Northern Capital".
The bank believes that the court unlawfully ignored the fact of affiliation between SBC and Antipinsky Oil Refinery, while the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation “repeatedly reminded that any doubt about the affiliation of the creditor and the debtor should entail the impossibility of appointing an arbitration manager proposed by such a creditor with respect to the debtor” . A Kommersant source close to another lender confirmed that they adhere to a similar position there.
The railway operator Transoil, which requires 3.2 billion rubles from the Antipinsky oil refinery, told Kommersant: “Obviously, SBC initiates bankruptcy for only one purpose - avoiding debts to other creditors. Affiliation with the plant, which SBC did not refute in the process, should be thoroughly studied and verified by the court. ” They added that the refinery is still capable of servicing the debt burden and operating stably, which follows from the data submitted by the plant in court on repaid taxes and fees, as well as in relation to a number of counterparties. The ICD and PSB Kommersant did not comment on their position. But the PSB noted that they consider the bankruptcy of the refinery inevitable. Sberbank declined to comment.
According to the Cypriot registry, Sokar Energoresurs is owned by RT Energoresource Ltd, in which Sberbank SBC Komplekt owns 40%, and Socar Russia Investments owns the rest. Meanwhile, as they say in Absolut Bank, the Antipinsky Oil Refinery opposed the affirmation of affiliation with Sberbank in court and presented a list of shareholders, from which it followed that the ownership structure of the oil refinery was changed shortly before the meeting. At the same time, the court refused to other creditors to postpone the case to check the new shareholders of the Antipinsky Oil Refinery for their relationship with Sberbank. In any case, says one of Kommersant’s interlocutors, RT Energoresource is headed by Sberbank manager Yan Serebryakov, which indicates affiliation.
Andrei Naberezhny from the Yakovlev & Partners Law Group notes that the main task of the interim manager is to obtain all company documents, including transactions, and conduct financial analysis. This information then becomes the basis for contesting transactions and bringing controlling persons to subsidiary liability. The presence of a loyal manager allows you to keep silent about unnecessary facts and make the necessary conclusion, the lawyer notes. The manager also agrees to major transactions, the expert explains, and his support strengthens the lender's position when opposing other lenders and allows them to challenge their claims. According to Mr. Naberezhny, the Armed Forces chose the vector of struggle with affiliated creditors, therefore it is possible to cancel the judicial act regarding the candidacy of the arbitration manager. However, the lawyer adds, proving affiliation is a complex process, it cannot be ruled out that the court will take a formal approach in that each arbitration manager is independent.