Stefan Duerr fell into the arms of Rosselkhozbank

The founder of Econiva has come to terms with the creditor.
The owner of the largest Russian milk producer Econiva, Stefan Duerr, and the main creditor of the Rosselkhozbank group have settled the differences. The bank's structures will not exercise options in relation to the shares of the group's companies and will resume financing to complete a number of Econiva projects.

Rosselkhozbank will not exercise options in relation to the shares of Econiva holding companies. This is stated in the message of the parties. The Bank will also resume financing to complete the construction of three started livestock complexes, as well as a number of other Econiva projects in a high degree of readiness. Among them are farms in the Moscow region, Tatarstan and Bashkiria for 9 thousand heads with a capacity of 100 thousand tons of milk per year. The parties will also continue to search for an "optimal solution" on the construction of the largest investment project of the group - a plant for processing 1.15 thousand tons of milk per day in the Novosibirsk region.

Econiva is the largest raw milk producer in Russia. It unites 40 livestock complexes, where 215 thousand heads are kept, including 110 thousand heads of dairy herds. Land bank - more than 630 thousand hectares. In 2020, the enterprises of "Econiva" produced almost 925 thousand tons of raw milk. At the end of 2020, revenue increased by 15%, to € 464 million, EBITDA increased by 13%, to € 189 million.

The dispute between the founder of Econiva, Stefan Duerr, and the Russian Agricultural Bank became known this summer. The founders of the group appealed to the Arbitration Court of the Voronezh Region to terminate the agreements on granting options to the Rosselkhozbank structure giving the right to buy out shares in Econiva companies at par. As stated in the court documents, the plaintiffs wanted to recognize the options as invalid due to the fact that, on the initiative of the defendant - the "strong side" - they included "extremely unfavorable" and substantially violating the balance of interests of the parties, the conditions to which the plaintiffs had to agree to extend the return period credits. Last week, the court rejected the claim to the structures of Stefan Duerr.

According to Mr. Duerr, the plaintiffs will refuse to file an appeal against the decision of the Arbitration Court of the Voronezh Region and will withdraw all claims related to this case.

Irina Zhachkina, First Deputy Chairman of the Board of Rosselkhozbank, noted that Econiva's structures have no overdue debts to the bank or related parties, the bank remains the group's main strategic creditor and will continue working financing within the established limits.

Gazprombank senior analyst Marat Ibragimov says resolving the dispute looks like a reasonable compromise. The example of Eurodon, once the largest turkey producer in Russia, which was controlled by VEB, shows that banks do not cope well with the role of owners of such assets, which lose in value before changing the profile investor, the analyst said. According to him, the completion of the started projects also looks logical and will save the already invested funds.