Transneft and Sberbank conclude an urgent deal

A loud argument about currency options can be settled in three weeks.
In the context of the dispute at the price of 65.5 billion rubles. Transneft and Sberbank have made an attempt to make peace. The parties intend to agree for three weeks, but the court granted them time until 9 January. Conditions for a possible peace are still being discussed. Among the options is an amicable settlement or a withdrawal of the appeal to Transneft in exchange for money or preferential terms for transactions with the bank. The withdrawal of the complaint is more beneficial for Sberbank, and in return the company can get more favorable terms. But Kommersant sources are sure that compensation in any case will be much less than half of the initial requirements of Transneft.

Yesterday a crowd of numerous representatives of Transneft and Sberbank, journalists and free listeners gathered at the courtroom No. 13 of the cassation court of the Moscow District on November 30, wishing to see the process on a resonant case. But the expectations of a tense struggle were not justified. The representative of Sberbank immediately asked to postpone the consideration of the case for three weeks to negotiate a settlement of the dispute by the world. He stressed that the joint statement, a representative of Transneft, confirmed this. The court gave the parties time until January 9, but the presiding judge Svyatoslav Nechayev asked to present the draft agreement in advance. In response, the representative of Sberbank clarified that, perhaps, the approval of the settlement agreement by the court would not be required.

The loud argument began in January: Transneft filed a lawsuit against Sberbank, challenging the transactions of currency options (call and put) with the barrier condition, concluded in 2013 with a date of execution in September 2015. On the call option, the barrier was set at 45 rubles. for a dollar, and then increased to 50 rubles. But because of the devaluation of the ruble against the dollar at the end of 2014, the company had to pay the bank 66.5 billion rubles. In the suit, Transneft referred to the fact that it is not a qualified investor, the deal was speculative, and the bank behaved in bad faith, without disclosing all the necessary information, including the possible growth of the dollar. Sberbank insisted that Transneft is not new to such transactions, the company received all the information about risks, realized them and recognized the legality of transactions, having changed their mind only after a year and a half. The Moscow Arbitration Court in July granted the claim, but in August the appeal overturned the decision.

The parties do not disclose the possible terms of a settlement agreement. Sberbank was only informed that they are negotiating, which need three weeks to complete. Transneft simply declined to comment. According to Kommersant sources, the parties are tolerating at the direction of President Vladimir Putin, who, after mutual complaints, recommended that the trial be discontinued and agreed. According to the sources of Kommersant's sources, in the end, Transneft can get a certain amount of compensation from Sberbank, but much less than half of the required amount. One of the interlocutors of "Kommersant" assures that "there is no final decision on the money yet". At the same time, the bank wants to do without payment of compensation, in exchange giving the company preferential terms and preferences for loans or other products. The parties have already tried to reconcile before the appeal. Then, according to "Kommersant", the bank sent the company a draft agreement, which also did not provide for direct cash payments. The words of the representative of Sberbank that the approval of the agreement by the court may not be necessary, two sources of "K" explain the option when Transneft refuses the cassation appeal.

Partner of the law firm "Kulkov, Kolotilov and partners" Oleg Kolotilov notes that the procedure of the world will be of significant importance for judicial practice. If the parties conclude an agreement that the court will approve, the lawyer explains, all previous judicial acts are canceled, the legal status quo is restored, practice returns to the state before the claim. If Transneft refuses the cassation appeal, then the appeal decision in favor of the bank remains in force and can be taken into account by the courts when considering similar cases. This situation looks positive for the bank and is relatively neutral for Transneft. Therefore, the lawyer believes, in exchange for refusing to complain, the bank can provide the company with more favorable terms for transactions. And in the contract, adds Oleg Kolotilov, you can immediately prescribe the condition that the company will no longer take action to challenge transactions on options and to cancel the appeal decision.