Rosneft requires from Sistema to return Bashneft's dividends

The oil company filed a new lawsuit against the AFC for 132 billion rubles.
Rosneft decided to escalate the dispute with AFK Sistema, announcing its intention to seek 131.6 billion rubles in court. dividends of Bashneft, which it paid in 2009-2014 to AFK, then its main owner. According to Rosneft, the negotiations on the settlement agreement have reached a deadlock, and the right to receive dividends follows from the decision of the first instance court on the dispute with the AFC. The news led to the collapse of Sistema shares by 20%.

Rosneft announced that today the oil company and its now subsidiary Bashneft filed a claim in the arbitration court of Bashkiria, which requires 131.6 billion rubles. from AFK Sistema. These are the dividends that Bashneft paid in 2009-2014 to AFK, at that time its main shareholder. Rosneft believes that these funds were "withdrawn" from Bashneft illegally. "The requirements for the return of funds withdrawn in the form of dividends logically follow from the decision of the court of first instance, in which the defendant is recognized as an unfair shareholder who illegally owned shares that were guilty of deliberately causing damage to Bashneft and removing property and assets from it to its advantage, - said in a statement of Rosneft. This is a decision of the same arbitration court of Bashkortostan, which at the end of August ordered the AFC to pay 136 billion rubles in favor of Bashneft and Rosneft. In this claim, the plaintiffs claim that AFK caused damage to its Bashneft asset during the reorganization of the Bashkir fuel and energy complex in 2014. Now Sistema is contesting this decision in an appeal.

Rosneft does not hide that the new requirements appeared as a response to Sistema's refusal to refuse to challenge the first claim and pay 136 billion rubles. Thus, the company's report stresses that "Rosneft" in the interests of the sustainable operation of the enterprises that are part of the Sistema JSFC and the Russian economy as a whole, declared its readiness to stop on the decision of the court of first instance and refrain from presenting additional legitimate demands. " The RFPI was involved as a mediator in the negotiations, but "all our efforts have not yielded results because of the principled rejection of the respondents from the dialogue and the absence on their part of any constructive proposals for settling the dispute."

In the AFC said that they had not yet seen a new lawsuit. Shares of Sistema on news fell in the moment by more than 20%. Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian president, told news agencies that Vladimir Putin was in favor of an amicable agreement between the companies, but "it's up to the companies".