Since 2014, Lebedev has been trying to prove his right to $ 2 billion, which, in his opinion, he should have received after the sale of TNK-BP Rosneft.
The court in New York sided with the billionaires Viktor Vekselberg and Leonard Blavatnik (No. 22 in the Forbes American rating; $ 17.8 billion) in a dispute with the former senator from Chuvashia, co-founder of the Sintez group, Leonid Lebedev, and dismissed the latter’s claim, Bloomberg reports.
The plaintiff’s lawyer told the agency that Lebedev is planning to appeal the decision. Representatives of Blavatnik and Vekselberg did not respond promptly to an agency request.
In 2013, Rosneft bought 100% of TNK-BP oil company. Prior to this, TNK-BP's shareholders were the British BP and the AAR consortium, which included Alfa Group by Mikhail Friedman and his partners, Access Industries Blavatnik and Renova Vekselberg. The total amount of the transaction amounted to almost $ 55 billion, of which Renova and Access Industries received $ 13.8 billion in total.
In 2014, Lebedev filed a lawsuit against Vekselberg and Blavatnik in a New York court. He claimed that he was TNK-BP's “secret shareholder” and owed him $ 2 billion from money received by billionaires from Rosneft.
According to the lawsuit, Lebedev, Vekselberg and Blavatnik have been partners in the oil business since 1997, and Lebedev helped billionaires privatize 40% of TNCs. Legally, they formalized their business relationship only in 2001, concluding a shareholder agreement. According to him, Lebedev was entitled to 15% of the profits of the oil business and, in particular, 15% in the company OGIP, through which the partners owned the TNK package. At the same time, the agreement was signed only by Lebedev and Vekselberg, Blavatnik agreed to the terms of the agreement later, ordering to issue a guarantee letter confirming OGIP's obligation to pay dividends.
The former senator claimed in court that the agreement gave him the right to 15% in any company - the successor to OGIP, as well as 15% of all proceeds from the joint oil business - in the form of dividends or other form. In 2003, TNK merged with the Russian business of BP. In a joint company, the consortium AAR and BP received 50% each, and Lebedev was not named among the ultimate owners.
Vekselberg and Blavatnik rejected Lebedev’s claims, arguing that they paid him 10 years before the deal with Rosneft - when creating TNK-BP in 2003, listing a company connected with him $ 600 million. According to Bloomberg, the court rejected Lebedev’s lawsuit, considering that the agreement of 2001 does not give him the right to receive more compensation than he has already received.