The partners of restaurateur Arkady Novikov obtained through the court the recovery of almost $ 6 million from his chain of coffee shops and confectionery Krispy Kreme. The Presnensky court satisfied the claimants' claims on March 3, the press secretary of the court Lela Kokaya told Open Media. We are talking about two lawsuits that were filed in the summer of 2020 by businessmen Alexander Sysoev and Vladimir Mukhin, Novikov's partners in the Krispy Kreme network. In addition to Novikov himself, the defendant was Donuts Cafe LLC, which owns the exclusive franchise of the American chain in Russia.
What are Novikov's partners known for?
Alexander Sysoev and Vladimir Mukhin, who were originally co-owners of Donuts Cafe, several years ago controlled almost 15% of the Technology Development Bank (BRT). The same bank was a counterparty to Krispy Kreme establishments. But in 2016, due to violations of the money laundering law, the Central Bank revoked BRT's license, and in 2019 the Deposit Insurance Agency filed a lawsuit against Sysoev, Mukhin, and other former top managers of the bank demanding compensation for 1.6 billion rubles of damage.
Arkady Novikov registered Donuts Cafe in 2012, later Alexander Sysoev and Vladimir Mukhin became the founders, who each received 20% in the authorized capital of the company. In May 2013, Donuts Cafe signed a loan agreement with Sysoev and Mukhin for the development of Krispy Kreme. The money was given under Novikov's personal guarantee, the plaintiffs' lawyers later argued in court.
In the summer of 2020, both partners demanded that Novikov return the money and filed lawsuits with the Presnensky Court of Moscow. The sum of Sysoev's claims amounted to $ 4,175,032, a court spokesman told Open Media at the time. Mukhin tried to sue $ 1,634,750, but later ceded his claim to co-owner of the Tanuki restaurants, Andrei Isaev.
Sysoev and a partner provided several loans to “two legal entities associated with Mr. Novikov and his Krispy Kreme project” under Novikov’s surety, Yekaterina Roy-Grigorieva, Sysoeva’s lawyer, told Open Media. The total amount of debt was at least $ 8.8 million, she specified. Since Sysoev eventually “received neither interest, nor dividends - not a ruble,” and Novikov began to deny personal surety and call the loan an investment agreement, it was decided to go to court, the lawyer said.
At one of the hearings on the claims in the Presnensky Court, where the correspondent of "Open Media" was present, Novikov's representative did not acknowledge the debt. The restaurateur himself declined to comment.
In September 2020, Sysoev and Mukhin filed three more lawsuits against Novikov, this time to the Dorogomilovsky Court of Moscow, and found Open Media in the court file. The total amount of claims of Novikov's partners in these three claims was about $ 3 million, Yekaterina Roy-Grigorieva, a lawyer for Alexander Sysoeva, told Open Media.
In one of the claims, the Dorogomilovsky court eventually approved the amicable agreement, and satisfied the claims otherwise in full, collecting jointly and severally from Novikov and Product Trading LLC $ 157,379 in rubles at the exchange rate of the Central Bank on the date of return, the press secretary told Open Media court Diana Korzukhina. The Dorogomilovsky court will consider another claim on March 29.
Krispy Kreme coffee shop equipment is assigned to Product Trading. In addition, she is responsible for the supply from the UK of food ingredients for bakery and flour confectionery, follows from the company's arbitration case. Since Donuts Cafe and Product Trading are registered in different regions, claims were filed in different courts based on territorial jurisdiction.
It was not possible to contact Arkady Novikov and General Director of Product Trading Anton Astashkin. Representative of Vladimir Mukhin, attorney Denis Dragun, was unavailable for comment.
The gastronomic empire of Arkady Novikov came out of the crisis with minimal losses - it was possible to preserve almost all points, said the restaurateur in an interview with Natalya Sindeeva, general director of the Dozhd TV channel.
Before the pandemic, his Russian gastronomic empire included 70 restaurants and about 200 chain establishments, including Prime fast food cafes, Minced burger shops and Krispy Kreme coffee shops.
The Krispy Kreme chain has 29 coffee shops in Moscow and the Moscow region. The current claims of creditors (about 700 million rubles) significantly exceed the revenues of this Novikov network: according to the Kontur.Fokus database, the net profit of Donuts Cafe for 2019 amounted to 20.7 million rubles with revenues of 488 million rubles, and a year earlier the company showed 107.7 million rubles of loss with revenue of 529 million rubles.