Why Mikhail Friedman's Spanish project became engaged in the "Russian mafia's case"

It is now difficult for the Russian investors to do business in Europe. 
Passengers night flights at the airport in Madrid on January 16 had to be nervous: in one of the four terminals they were met by a police cordon and capture a group of 40 Special Forces soldiers in full uniform. On top of all mobile phones and Internet have been blocked. Such measures are taken for the sake of imposing man who literally commandos and step not allowed to set foot upon exit from the apron Amsterdam flight - 65-year-old Dutch lawyer Peter Vacca. After being detained by prosecutors interviewed Vacca and six hours later released without charge, told "Vedomosti" his lawyer. But on January 17 the Spanish newspapers came out with headlines about the arrest of Russian mafia lawyer in Spain in the course of an investigation by the Prosecutor Jose Grinda, known for participation in the businessman Gennady Petrov. The prosecutor accused Petrova in the creation of the organized criminal group and suggested that he may be associated not only with senior Russian officials, but even with Russian President Vladimir Putin reminded journalists (see. Incision). True, except for the name of the prosecutor, the links between Vacca and Petrov could not see.

However, the claims were presented to the lawyer too serious. Vacca was suspected of connivance conclusion of money from the Dutch telecommunications company Zed +, controlled by well-known Spanish businessmen of the family Perez Dolset, as well as in promoting the raider seizure of the company, which happened after the withdrawal of funds in a difficult financial situation, reported edition of El Confidencial, access documents investigation . Dutchman Vacca Acting Managing Zed + from November 2014 to this position he was appointed to the Chamber of Commerce of Amsterdam court decided to introduce external management Zed +.

According to the edition, derived from the Dutch company money allegedly went to bribe high-ranking officials in Russia - through the Russian company, one of whose shareholders is the son of the Minister of Internal Affairs of Russia Vladimir Kolokoltseva - Alexander Kolokoltsov. El Confidencial claimed that the investigation in addition to Spanish prosecutors also conduct the US Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the FBI. In these organizations, as well as Grinda's office refused to comment on the situation.

Content with debts

"Russian trace" Where in the international history? The company Zed + was founded in the Netherlands in 2012 for the merger of the assets of big content producer, a Spanish holding company Zed Worldwide, owned by the family of Perez Dolset, and content providers, "VimpelCom" (operates under the brand "Beeline") - JSC "Temafon" and CJSC " Themes ", controlled by the co-owner of the largest mobile operator Michael Friedman and his partner Vahe Engibaryan.

Plans for the participants of the joint venture were grandiose. Fridman and his partners were interested in creating a major player in the mobile content market in Eastern Europe and Latin America to further conduct an IPO on NASDAQ, told "Vedomosti" a man, a member in 2013-2014. Zed + in the board of directors. Interlocutor "Vedomosti" says that five years ago he introduced Friedman founder Zed Worldwide, the Spanish billionaire Javier Perez Dolsetom, and supported the idea of ​​combining their businesses. Friedman wanted to go out with services to provide content to international markets, and the merger with Zed Worldwide, while prominent European player, would create a company worth 1.5 billion euros, says the source "Vedomosti".

The talks were about a year. In 2013, the joint venture partners have transferred its main assets in the creation of mobile content. Friedman and Engibaryan made it an estimated 30 million euros 69% of the Cyprus MIPR, which owned 49.9% of "Topics" and "Temafona", and received nearly 30% of the Dutch Zed +. "VimpelCom" made in the joint venture 31% MIPR, valued at EUR 13.5 million, and was 5.8% in the company. Dolset family contributed 70% of the Spanish Zed Worldwide, estimated at EUR 98 million, and was about 67% in the joint venture.

Family business

Natives of Greek origin Madrid 47-year-old Javier Perez Dolset together with his younger brother Ignacio, which Spanish media called billionaires grew his business from scratch. In 1989, just after graduating from school, Javier was able to borrow money and the support of Ignacio create a distributor of video games. Gradually the business grew and expanded: by 1992 the company's revenue reached 35 million euros, the brothers created the internet service provider. Soon, the provider selling telecommunications giant Telefonica, they sent the proceeds to create a developer Pyro Studios games, computer animation studio Ilion Animation Studios and entertainment portal LaNetro. In 2002, the business decided to focus on the so-called VAS-services for mobile phones (sms, mms and so on. D). Two years later bought LaNetro Zed content provider in the Swedish operator of TeliaSonera, decided to continue to work under the acquired brand, and its turnover amounted to hundreds of millions of euros. Among the family further acquisitions was the British and the Spanish provider Monstermob Alvento, companies in Latin America. In recent years, the company Perez Dolsetov receive orders all over the world: they do animation for Hollywood studios and mobile application for the NBA.

But relations between the Russian and Spanish partners quickly soured, recalls a former member of the Board of Directors of Zed +. It turned out that the Spanish holding company, inherited the joint venture, strongly zakreditovan and its debts exceed the originally negotiated amount, he explains. For example, in November 2013 with Zed Worldwide balance on the Dutch company's balance sheet was "outweighed" a loan of 120 million euros, issued by the Spanish holding a syndicate of banks led by ING.

The Russian partners have refused to record the debt on the total company's board of directors has not approved statements Zed + for 2013, on which the company's revenue amounted to 385 million euros, and a year later the source "Vedomosti" has left the company, as he realized that "the future it does not have" . In October 2014 the company ceased to service the debt. Friedman and Engibaryan structures through which they own shares in the Zed +, - Gelvaser and Bombalia - in 2014 appealed to the Chamber of Commerce of Amsterdam court to conduct an independent audit of Zed + since its inception in 2012 and appoint an external manager. The Chamber has put into the company's management and appointed external manager Vacca, part of the Association of Arbitration Managers under the Chamber of Commerce. The Russian partners believe that Zed + was the victim of financial fraud Spanish partners, says source close to Friedman.

Theft or contract

Version Spanish partners opposite. In 2015, the family Perez Dolset said Spanish law enforcement agencies about the theft of 32 million euros from the Russian subsidiary of Zed + in 2013-2014., Writes El Confidensial.

Chamber of Commerce of Amsterdam Spanish shareholders have told the following. In 2013, the management of Zed +, headed by Executive Director Javier Dolsetom found that the Russian division of the company - JSC "Temafon" - selling content main buyer, "VimpelCom", not directly but through intermediaries, thereby depriving the holding gains.

The Russian "daughter" was really profitable, unlike the Spanish net income "Temafona" in 2012 amounted to 30.3 million euros, and in 2016 - 19.7 million euros. Spanish as Zed Worldwide received in 2013 to 7 million euro loss. As a result, from the proceeds of the Russian "daughter" of the consolidated profit Zed + was in 2013, 6.3 million euros to the company's report.

But Spanish shareholders believed that part of the profits "Temafon" concealed. In their version, means "Temafona" passed through an intermediary - OOO "Meeting" and settled, in particular, in the company - a developer of mobile applications Fun Box ( "FB Group"). Their charges are based, in particular, on the fact that "Meeting" and "FB groups" associated with the former CEO "Temafona" Vladimir Turovetskim.

Indeed, the general director of "Date" from its inception in April 2013, prior to liquidation of the company in 2015 was Turovetsky, who until 2009 headed "Temafonom" (hereinafter SPARK data). He founded this company, but after a few months, its share has moved offshore. He established it and "FB Group", is engaged in the development of content services for mobile devices. But on November 30, 2012 30% of the shares in this company belongs to Alexander Kolokoltsov, 2014 to increase the stake to 40%. The rest - a partner for other companies Turovetskogo Mary Gorkovoy.

The Spanish side argues that for the settlement of losses, estimated by management Zed + 32 million euros, in November 2013 the shareholders have entered into an agreement under which the Russian partners have to pass Zed Worldwide interest in two companies - Expert Promotion and Tinosika worth 37 million euros. But it has not been enforced, they pointed out. The agreement was approved only because at that time, five of the eight seats on the board of Zed + occupied Perez Dolset family members, and they voted for him, the Russian shareholders were against it, explains a member of staff of the Russian division Zed +. Accusations of withdrawal of funds, he categorically denies, explaining that the "Meeting" was one of the contractors, through which "Temafon" places an order for the development of content and sold it. "Temafon" was interested in selling content, not only "VimpelCom", "Meeting" of buyers and searched, he explains.

"FB Group" has developed content and software under a contract with "Temafonom" and the history of their relations has received as payment for their services no more than $ 6 million, says an employee of the company. "And where do the bribes and Kolokoltsov?" - He is perplexed. According to him, the founder of "FB Group" at the time invited Kolokoltseva company as a portfolio investor and that the management company is not involved. Contact Kolokoltsev failed.

Who wanted in Spain

The investigation against Gennady Petrov takes in Spain for over 10 years. According to prosecutors, Jose Grinda and Joan Curran, a group of Russians led by Petrov from the mid-1990s. I engaged in money laundering. The Russians have created hundreds of companies to which the property was recorded. She repeatedly resold on increasing value through company controlled by the same people - according to prosecutors, for money laundering. Thus legalized proceeds from drug trafficking, arms trafficking and connections, according to investigators. Petrov was arrested together with 19 other Russians in 2008, he spent a year and a half arrest, was released on bail, but left in Russia, despite the fact that, according to Grinda, there were negotiations about his deal with the investigation and jail him not threatened. The investigation of the records of telephone conversations found that Petrov maintained relationships with many senior Russian officials, including the Chairman of the Investigative Committee (SK) Alexander Bastrykin and Anatoly Serdyukov, who served as head of the Federal Tax Service, and then the defense minister, the former Minister of Communications Leonid Reiman and etc.

In December 2015, prosecutors brought charges of involvement in a criminal organization and money laundering in the territory of Spain against citizens of 26 Russian and Spanish, including Petrov. In sum, the prosecution has requested for all of them 126 years in prison (an average of 4 years and 10 months per person) and 2.7 billion euro fine. All of them were summoned to the court session. And for those who are at the appointed time at the hearing did not show up, the judge ordered the arrest in absentia and the international wanted list. As a result, in May 2016 the National Judicial College of Spain issued an international warrant for the arrest of 12 Russians, including the State Duma deputy Vladislav Reznik and his wife Diana Gindin, deputy head of the Federal Drug Control Service of Nicholas Aulova and former deputy chairman of the SC of the Prosecutor of Russia Igor Sobolev. They are suspected of having links with the group led by Petrov. Also confirmed was issued in 2012. The warrant for the arrest of Petrov. The prosecutor's office asked to sentence him to eight years in prison.

Russian Prosecutor General's Office did not satisfy the Spanish request for interrogation Reznik.

In 2013, the project "Temafona" Zed Worldwide, and could prove to be a success, says analyst "TMT Consulting" Konstantin Ankilov. But now the time is missed such alliances. The revenue of "VimpelCom" from the sale of content service does not exceed 1%, and in general, the operators receive from content services no more than a few per cent of revenue. According to him, Fun Box and "Temafon" - niche players, and not the market leaders.

Response claims

Spanish court considers the application of creditors on the introduction of surveillance in the Spanish Zed Worldwide in connection with the insolvency of the company - the next meeting is scheduled for 6 March. The total holding of Spanish debt was 160 million euros and the company is not able to serve, the report said its British "daughter» Monstermob Group. the company does not disclose financial figures. Netherlands Zed + opened the Chamber of Commerce of Amsterdam only data for 2014, reporting revenue of 385 million euros on profit 10.1 million euros.

The Court of Madrid is also considering a lawsuit with the Russian shareholders to Javier Perez Dolsetu, he told "Vedomosti" a person close to the leadership of the Russian subsidiary of Zed +. The plaintiffs accuse the Spanish businessman in the withdrawal of funds from the company. They believe that Perez Dolset, and at the same time head of the Spanish, and the Dutch company deliberately introduced Russian partners misled about the financial condition of the company, and then withdraw money from the joint venture. Joining Russian assets only increased appetite Perez Dolseta to credit, reminds the interlocutor of "Sheets": during the creation of Zed + banks increased credit limit Spanish Zed Worldwide c 90 million to 140 million euros, it is time to choose a 120 million euros, which are then passed to the balance of the joint Zed + . During 2013 Perez Dolset wrote himself as CEO of Zed + bonus of 750 000 euros, and six months later a joint venture was not able to service the debt, outraged interlocutor "Vedomosti". According to the Russian shareholders, Perez Dolset deduced from company funds, which are then spent on personal needs, not only through the payment of a bonus, but also through intermediaries, contractors of the Spanish company Zed Worldwide, t. E. Using the same methods, in which he accused Russian partners, the source "Vedomosti" says.

Representatives of Zed + "Temafona", "VimpelCom", as well as Friedman and Dolseta refused to comment on the situation.

The continuing negative image of Russian business in the countries that were the high-profile investigations against Russian mafia - especially in Spain - on the stage of the investigation may well play against Russian businessmen, but a fair hearing in the European courts, he can not hurt, I'm sure a lawyer specializing in criminal protection entrepreneurs in Russia and abroad. The Russian partners Zed + extensive experience in international litigation, so in the long run they have a higher chance of a positive outcome of the case, the partner agrees to Paragon Advice Alexander Zakharov.