When buying Dia, investment company LetterOne Mikhail Fridman pledged to invest € 1.6 billion to save the Spanish food retailer and not close stores. This was the representative of the billionaire told RIA Novosti in connection with the start of the consideration of a complaint against a businessman in the National Judicial Collegium of Spain.
Dia is one of the largest chain stores in Spain. LetterOne announced its intention to become the sole owner of the retailer in early February, proposing a three-step recovery plan for the company. From the complaint against the entrepreneur, it follows that he intentionally sought a fall in Dia shares in order to buy the company at a lower price. In May, LetterOne gained control of nearly 70% of the retailer’s capital. The offer was accepted by the holders of 57.41% of the shares and 40.76% of the capital Dia.
Friedman’s spokesman says the allegations in the complaint are false. He claims that the retailer’s problems are to blame for his previous leadership. When LetterOne acquired a controlling stake, it lost more than other investors, the source said. “We supported Dia and committed to invest € 1.6 billion to protect the jobs and interests of suppliers, so as not to close stores and save a significant Spanish retailer,” said the representative of the billionaire.
He added that the allegations reflect a series of false allegations made by Javier Perez-Dolset. This is the former head of the Spanish technology company Zed WorldWide, in the bankruptcy case of which Friedman testified on October 21. “This mismanagement and accounting breach occurred before LetterOne took control of Dia, under the supervision of the former board of directors and the former management team. LetterOne has lost more than any other investor in Dia, ”said a spokesman for Friedman.
Earlier, the Spanish prosecutor's office did not begin to demand a preventive measure for Friedman in the bankruptcy case Zed WorldWide. According to the anti-corruption prosecutor Jose Grinda, the billionaire "will remain in the status of the accused by the prosecutor's office." According to the prosecution, the entrepreneur influenced Zed’s financial condition through third parties, and also “controlled the events” that led to the company's insolvency. In addition, the prosecutor believes that the entrepreneur resorted to “violence, intimidation, or deception” to illegally lower the price of Zed Worldwide. The mobile operator VimpelCom, which was controlled by Friedman, suddenly changed contracts with the Russian "daughter" Zed. This deprived the Spanish company of significant revenue. The prosecution believes that such a decision was made to bring down the price of the company. In turn, Friedman calls himself not involved in the bankruptcy of Zed Worldwide. In his opinion, it was due to poor management of the company, including due to the actions of its former CEO Javier Perez-Dolset.