Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Yelena Baturina Wins €4.5 Million in British Virgin Islands Court

LONDON, May 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

On 28 April 2014, Sylmord Trade Inc, a company affiliated with Russian businessman Alexander Chistyakov, Chairman of the Ruspetro Company listed on the London Stock Exchange, was placed into liquidation by the court in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), following its failure to repay loans in the amount of €4.5 million to Yelena Baturina's Inteco Beteiligungs. Baturina is an entrepreneur and philanthropist, owner of a European hotel network and founder of the international BE OPEN Foundation.

Inteco Beteiligungs commenced proceedings against Sylmord Trade Inc. in the BVI in November 2012. The BVI proceedings concerned loans made by Inteco Beteiligungs to Sylmord, for the purpose of funding a proposed real estate project in Morocco which Sylmord had failed to repay.

In January 2013, Inteco Beteiligungs obtained a default judgment against Sylmord in the BVI, pursuant to which Sylmord was ordered to repay the loans together with interest (about €4.5 million). Sylmord was also ordered to pay Inteco Beteiligungs' legal costs. Sylmord unsuccessfully applied to set aside the default judgment, initially to the High Court and subsequently to the Eastern Carribean Court of Appeal.
On 24 March 2014, the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal dropped the final curtain by confirming the initial verdict and satisfying all the claims of Inteco Beteiligungs. At the hearing on 28 April 2014, the BVI High Court recognized that Sylmord Trade Inc. is insolvent and accordingly appointed representatives of Grant Thornton as liquidators of the company.  

Responding to the ruling of the BVI Court, Gennady Terebkov, a representative of Inteco Beteiligungs commented:

"We are pleased that Sylmord's efforts to avoid the consequences of its refusal to comply with its legal obligations to Inteco Beteiligungs have now come to an end. Sylmord's position in the proceedings was always hopeless, as the court has now recognised. We welcome the appointment of the liquidators and look forward to finally recovering what is owed to us, no matter what steps the opponent has been taking to prevent that." 

The case won by Yelena Baturina's Inteco Beteiligungs in the BVI and the obligation to repay €4.5 million is only the first part of the claims filed by the Russian businesswoman and her structures against Alexander Chistyakov himself and his companies. The overall damages are estimated at €100 million. The High Court in London is considering Baturina's suit for deceit and breach of contract. The English proceedings and the BVI proceedings are closely related, as they share the same factual background. In 2007, Baturina signed an agreement with Chistyakov and following this her company provided loans to Mr Chistyakov's company Sylmord Trade Inc for the real estate project in Morocco. Chistyakov accepted all the obligations for the project implementation, and Baturina contends that he failed to fulfill any of them.

SOURCE UK Press Office for Yelena Baturina

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