Sergey Petrov is not going to return to Russia yet

The founder of the auto dealer Rolf, ex-State Duma deputy Sergei Petrov told RBC about the criminal case, because of which searches are conducted in the company's central office and dealerships.
Origin source
- On Thursday, in the central office of Rolf and in several dealer centers of the company in Moscow and St. Petersburg, members of the Investigative Committee conduct searches. What is the criminal case?

- There is a case on the illegal withdrawal of money abroad from 2014. Allegedly, we too highly valued some company and paid super-big money - 4 billion rubles, and, according to the investigation, it was worth several hundred million. Instead of asking whether there was an independent assessment - we, of course, have it - they (the investigating authorities - RBC) are arranging these expensive operational measures. They probably used two regiments! In 2014, no one asked us about an independent assessment.

This is a common story, we have (in Russia. - RBC) a lot of them. Look back: for example, the case of [Mikhail] Abyzov (the former minister for “open government” is accused of creating a criminal community and fraud worth 4 billion rubles - RBC).

- What are you linking a large-scale operation right now?

- I can not say now. We are in a zone where the security forces are completely out of control, we do not have an independent court. We have not seen anyone ever pull them back. Maximum, some editor can appeal to the president, he will say: "The FSB knows better what he is doing." Further only from the pressure of others it depends ... These people (security officials. - RBC) have a thinking that any transaction is speculation, so they can find a transaction in a large company with billions of turns and cling to it.

And what makes cling is unclear. Most likely, this may be my independent position, but it always has been. Or maybe some kind of desire for raiding, because there were offers to sell [Rolf] at half price. And maybe such a mixture - someone takes revenge for the fact that I dare to have my own opinion, but because the other uses it, and offers [to sell the business] begin to pour. The problem is that you apparently need to focus on the fact that it is never clear what is causing [searches and heightened attention of security officials to business].

- Have you received offers to sell your business for a long time?
- Regularly received [sentences] in the process of any excavations. This is not the first time [we are being searched]; now it’s just such a large scale. Proposals have been received since the fall of 2018. When such conversations begin, we simply interrupt them. Firstly, I now have no relation to the company, I work only as chairman (chairman of the board of directors. - RBC). The company is now at the Cyprus Trust (Alexander's son Petrov owns Rolf through the Cyprus Trust. - RBC). Secondly, it is impossible to negotiate if someone tries to offer you something under blackmail.

- When did you have searches before?

- Searches were. In April [2019], PwC was seized in this case. No one asked for the company's valuation [for which Rolf allegedly overpaid in 2014], but simply decided [to withdraw the documents]. We saw paper sent to court. The court obediently signs everything without asking, and why don't you ask the company for an assessment?

- And who is the suspect in this case?

- As far as I know, I, although in 2014 I was a deputy of the “State Duma”, Tatiana Markovna Lukhovetskaya (headed “Rolf” from 2013 until April 2018. - RBC) and another person.

- You are not in Russia?

- Not.

- Will you come back?

- I will see how the situation will develop, whether our arguments will be listened to. They can also attribute the organization of a criminal group.

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Rolf is the largest car dealer in Russia, founded in 1991 by Sergey Petrov. It sells cars of Ford, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Audi brands - in total about 20 brands. The dealer network has more than 40 showrooms in Moscow and St. Petersburg. It is the exclusive importer and distributor of Mitsubishi Motors cars in Russia (through the joint venture MMS Rus, in which shares also belong to Mitsubishi and Mitsubishi Motors). In 2016, she combined assets with Pelikan-Avto, the official dealer of BMW brands, Nissan Škoda in Moscow. Owns the logistics operator ROLF SCS, providing services for the transport of vehicles.

The beneficiary of the group is Alexander Petrov, the youngest son of its founder Sergey Petrov.

In the ranking of the largest Russian companies in Russia, RBC 500 in 2018 Rolf took 65th place. At the end of 2017, the group's revenues amounted to 180 billion rubles, net profit - 3.56 billion rubles.