Mikhail Fridman reaches out to Abyzov's Singaporean assets

Alfa-Bank, famous for its reputation as a ruthless lender, is pursuing former Minister Mikhail Abyzov not only in Russia but also abroad.
Origin source
As The Bell learned, the bank managed to obtain a judicial arrest of several companies associated with Abyzov in Singapore. Among the assets that came under arrest are real estate, cryptocurrencies and Abyzov’s claims on billionaire Viktor Vekselberg.

What happened? The fact that Abizov’s assets in Singapore were seized by a court decision in connection with Alfa Bank’s claims was told by The Bell four acquaintances of the ex-minister. The bank was looking for Abyzov’s property in order to collect it against the debts of his E4 company to Alfa Bank, which the bank estimates at 10 billion rubles. According to The Bell's interlocutors, we are talking about a large part of the property of the ex-minister.

Among the assets seized are real estate, cryptocurrency and companies suing on behalf of Abyzov with Viktor Vekselberg, said one of The Bell's interlocutors. An accurate assessment of everything that was under arrest is not yet available, he claims. The fact that Abyzov was interested in cryptocurrencies and even participated in the Telegram ICO, The Bell was previously said by another friend of his.

According to Alpha’s lawsuits, external managers were appointed to Singaporean companies that own Emmerson's BVI-registered company, one source said. Since 2013, Abyzov has been trying through this company to recover from Vekselberg almost $ 500 million for an unfulfilled option on the shares of the energy company KES Holding (now T Plus). The powers of the managers are reduced to ensuring the safety of Abyzov’s assets in the amount of about $ 120 million, the source told The Bell. The main debt (excluding penalties and fines) of E4 to Alfa Bank is about 10 billion rubles, Alfa Bank representative told The Bell earlier (at the current rate it is about $ 155 million).

The Bell failed to detect traces of the proceedings in Singapore or companies registered there directly on Abyzov. We can talk about his assets, which are managed by the Cypriot group Abacus, said one of the interlocutors. Its website says that it is the largest company that manages assets in the interests of different customers and has existed since 2001. The LinkedIn company profile says the company also operates in Singapore. The company did not respond to The Bell's request.
Representatives of Alfa-Bank and Abyzov declined to comment, and it was not possible to receive a response from representatives of Vekselberg at the time of publication.

How it all began. Since March 2019, Mikhail Abyzov, a former top manager of RAO UES, a businessman, and then a federal minister, has been in jail. He was detained by FSB officers on charges of organizing a criminal community and fraud. Initially, Abyzova was charged that in 2011-2014, he allegedly stole about 4 billion rubles from his own energy companies and brought them abroad. In this case, he faces up to 20 years in prison. In the summer, other accusations were added to this: violation of the ban on engaging in entrepreneurial activities while working in the government, money laundering, and credit fraud.

Enemies Alfa Group, headed by Mikhail Fridman and Peter Aven, has been trying to recover debts from E4 and personally from Abyzov since 2015.

The bank was one of the main creditors created by Abyzov after the departure of the engineering company E4 from RAO UES. Already in 2015, the bank began to seek verification and criminal prosecution in connection with who the company stopped paying off its debts, but while Abyzov remained the minister, he could not bring Alfa to justice.

Up to the bankruptcy of the company, E4 management explained that it was negotiating debt restructuring with creditors (the history of the E4 crash is described in detail here). Alfa-Bank claimed that E4 avoids paying loans. And Abyzov insisted that he hadn’t been in business since he became minister in 2012.
In September, The Bell wrote that Abyzov, through his representatives from the pre-trial detention center, was trying to negotiate a settlement agreement with Alfa Bank and repay the debt in exchange for resolving criminal claims. The negotiations on the part of Abyzov were attended by his associate in RAO UES Leonid Melamed and Abyzov's long-time partner, billionaire Iskandar Makhmudov. So far, there is no agreement on a settlement, but negotiations are ongoing, The Bell said.

What is in Russia. In Russia, the first charge against Abyzov was seized on his accounts and property in the amount of about 27 billion rubles. It was about 437 million rubles in the accounts, two land plots, two residential buildings, three apartments, a parking place, etc. Part of the assets was thawed by court decision: Abyzov’s defense sought this, insisting that with initial claims of 4 billion rubles, freezing property worth several times more was inappropriate. Lenders are sure that Abyzov will have enough property to pay off debts, said two interlocutors of The Bell. Since 2011, Abyzov has been included in the Forbes richest Russians list, but his fortune is getting smaller every year - in 2011, he occupied the 76th place in the list with a fortune of $ 1.2 billion, in 2018 - already 162nd place with a fortune of $ 600 million. We wrote more about the well-known businessman’s assets here.