Contrary to the decision of the London court, the shareholders of Yulmart Dmitry Kostygin and August Meyer did not buy out the share of the third co-owner of online retailer Mikhail Vasinkevich for $ 67 million. The parties blame each other for disrupting the deal. The conflict will continue in the courts of Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands, where Mikhail Vasinkevich demands to liquidate the structures of Dmitry Kostygin and August Meyer, which own the shares of Yulmart, and oblige their owners to pay him $ 75 million.
Co-owner of Yulmart, Mikhail Vasinkevich, told Kommersant that on January 9, his Donna Union Foundation (DUF) sued for fraud in the District Court of Limassol (Cyprus). The respondents indicated 31 persons, including Dmitry Kostigin, Augustus Meier (both own companies-shareholders of Yulmart - Koshigi and Svoboda, respectively), his spouse Inna Meyer, owner of Yulmart's creditor Ledaro Mikhail Skigin. The lawsuit (a source close to the trial provided “Kommersant” with a copy of the document) was accompanied by an affidavit with the testimony of a DUF representative, according to which Koshigi and Svoboda colluded with other defendants in order “to impede the arbitration proceedings as much as possible and delay the enforcement of arbitral awards” and also “sought to withdraw their assets in order to ensure a departure from obligations to the DUF”.
held "Yulmart" in the rating of the largest online retailers in Russia Data Insight in 2017
The conflict of co-owners of the once largest Russian online retailer Yulmart (in 2015, Forbes valued it at $ 1.4 billion and called it the third largest Internet company in the country; in 2017, it ranked seventh with an estimate of $ 236 million, and in 2018 m dropped out of the top 20) broke out in early 2016. Dmitry Kostygin and Avgust Meyer, who owned a total of 61.5% of the retailer, could not agree with Mikhail Vasinkevich (38.5% of the shares) on the company's further development. Later, Mr. Vasinkevich, together with the consultants of the A1 investment company (part of Alfa Group), appealed to the London court, which in July 2018 ordered Koshigi and Svoboda to redeem 38.5% of Yulmart for $ 67 million. The deal did not take place, the parties blame this each other. According to Koshigi and Svoboda, DUF lawyers did not provide documents at the right time and actually refused to accept the money. DUF states that the companies of Mr. Kostygin and Meyer themselves evaded the execution of the decision.
DUF asks the Cyprus court to order the defendants to pay damages in the amount of $ 75 million and to invalidate a number of transactions between them over the past two years. In addition, in January, the DUF filed a lawsuit in the British Virgin Islands for the liquidation of Koshigi and Svoboda “on the basis of their insolvency”.
Dmitry Kostygin told Kommersant that he had not heard of new lawsuits in Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands. The requirements of the Cyprus lawsuit, a source close to Mr. Kostigin, calls "grotesque nonsense." "The desire of Mr. Vasinkevich and his leaders from A1 to extend court proceedings is understandable: you need to somehow get funding from shareholders for the Yulmart project after two and a half years of the London court process, which ended with nothing for them," the source told Kommersant . The decision of the London court is not registered either in the British Virgin Islands or in Cyprus, and the recovery can only begin after this procedure, he said.
Mikhail Skigin, whose company credited Yulmart with $ 35 million, also does not know about the lawsuit in Cyprus and did not receive notice of it, said his lawyer, Paradigma managing partner Clement Rusakomsky. He conveyed the words of Mikhail Skigin: “Our position is as follows: we should not be concerned with the internal processes between the owners. Our Maltese process (the bankruptcy of the parent company Yulmarth. - “Kommersant”) goes on as usual. ”
The process in the London Arbitration "ended in victory," Mr. Vasinkevich objects. "The lawsuit in Cyprus is an independent claim already against Dmitry Kostygin, Augustus Meyer and their alleged accomplices, connected with their illegal actions to withdraw property under false transactions and in other ways," he stresses.
In A1, they also believe that Messrs. Kostygin and Meyer shy away from the execution of court decisions: “In this trial, we act as a financial partner and consultant for DUF, and all other statements are fantasies of Dmitry Kostygin and August Meyer.”
The case is very complicated, emphasizes the head of the Structural and Tax Consulting Practice of KSK Group, Dmitry Vodchits: “We didn’t know whether the fact of deliberate delays and especially hindering the execution of the decision. But if there was a withdrawal of assets and it was successfully contested, and DUF lawyers prove that the assets were withdrawn at a reduced price to affiliated structures, then it is quite possible to attract for losses. ” According to Mr. Vodchitsa, DUF lawyers will need to prove the causal link between the respondent’s actions and the negative consequences in the form of damages, as well as their size.