3.5 billion rubles were allocated for the raider seizure of land in the Saratov region?
The editors of the media received an interesting document – a certificate “acquisition of land in Saratovregion”. There are no seals or signatures on the paper. But we were attracted by the fact that the bankruptcy stories saratovRussian agricultural enterprises are developing precisely according to this plan.
The companies Solnechnye Produkty and Rusagro, Nizhnevolzhsky Commercial Bank and Agroinvest and a number of other local producers got into the scandal. We are wondering whether it will go further according to the predictions of the author of the plan or something will change dramatically. The plan takes into account not only the successive steps of unfriendly actions, but even indicates the budget for events, for example, 2 million US dollars for initiating a criminal case, 3.5 billion rubles for buying out the company’s debts. For the sake of what all this, the journalists of Anticorr.media understood.
A beautiful scenario for weaning a business
During the investigation of the seizures of agricultural enterprises Saratovoblast, journalists of Anticorr.media received an interesting document – a certificate “Acquisition of land in SO” [прим. ред. – Саратовской области]. It is dated November 24, 2020.
According to the certificate, the goal of the plan is to acquire land in the region in the amount of 162 thousand hectares. The territory is huge, and, obviously, it belongs to different enterprises. But the emphasis in the certificate is on one of the largest agricultural enterprises in the region, Agroinvest.
Two strategies were proposed to achieve the goal. The first is to negotiate, get the asset under management, and then go bankrupt. To do this, it is necessary to use the levers of criminal influence and the arbitration process. The second strategy is aimed immediately at the bankruptcy of the company, before that, buying out its debts, and then buying assets through auctions and gaining control over Agroinvest.
The creators of the plan even introduced new terms – the economic negotiation process and law enforcement, through involvement in a criminal case.
Obviously, the parties failed to reach an agreement, and bankruptcy entered the business. The planned deadlines in the certificate did not justify themselves. Apparently, the authors of the plan approached the matter optimistically and did not think that the owners saratovRussian companies will fight for their business, not give it away on a platter.
Bankruptcy was proposed in two ways.
The first is to use the debts of JV + RA. Perhaps, this refers to the bankruptcy of the Solnechnye Produkty agricultural holding, which has been sensational in the media all over the country, which is taking place at the suit of the Rusagro holding.
The second way is to use NVK. It is already obvious here what is meant by Nizhnevolzhsky Commercial Bank JSC, which specialized in lending to agricultural enterprises in the region.
As noted in the certificate, it is possible to buy the debts of agricultural companies from NVKbank only at auction, which requires an agreement with the DIA (Deposit Insurance Agency). This task was implemented by the Rusagro holding, which gained control over the Solnechnye Produkty holding, affiliated with NVKbank.
According to the file of the Arbitration Court and the information posted on the DIA website, in late May – early June 2021, DIA filed for bankruptcy of agricultural companies – debtors of NVKbank. At the same time, in August 2021, the bankruptcy trustee of NVKbank dissolved the creditors’ committee, created in July 2020, and formed a new committee of three people, where two members are affiliated with the Solnechnye Produkty holding, control over which had already passed to Rusagro by that time. “. At the same time, “DIA” put up the bank’s assets for auction, forming a lot only from the rights of claims to agricultural organizations that are land owners.
As follows from the certificate, further, in order to achieve the goal, it is necessary to achieve a criminal case to seize land and buy out the debts of agricultural companies at auction. The budget for the criminal case was allocated up to 2 million US dollars, and for the redemption of debts – more than 3.5 billion rubles.
The purpose of the criminal case is to achieve the transfer of land for safekeeping. That is, people are ready to bring others to criminal responsibility in order to receive land for safekeeping and use it.
If it is not possible to reach an agreement with land owners through the mechanism of creating the conditions for a “negotiation process” (economic and law enforcement), then the authors of the certificate indicate a transition to unfriendly bankruptcy. As a result, the land will be acquired at auction. The level of cynicism in this story goes through the roof.
The actions of DIA and Rusagro were reacted by the shareholders of NVKbank, who sounded the alarm in January last year by writing a collective complaint against DIA. The shareholders’ letter is available to the editorial office.
In their letter, the shareholders believe that the Rusagro holding, whose representatives met with the management of DIA in December 2021, is interested in obtaining the land fund, and the actions themselves resemble an attempted raider takeover.
Return of a legitimate share or capture of a successful business?
In terms of a separate item is the story of the company “Agroinvest”. The largest agricultural producer was on the verge of a raider takeover. Getting Agroinvest is not easy, but the loopholes outlined in the plan have been exploited in real life as well.
On November 1, 2022, the Arbitration Court of the Volga District overturned the earlier decisions of the first and appellate instances to deprive Andrey Khokhlov of the right to the company and sent the case for a new trial. However, so far the tax service has not made any changes to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, demanding from Khokhlov the impossible – to submit a judicial act on the reversal of execution. The editors of Anticorr.media had previously contacted the tax office to find out what the matter was.
Is the tax office obligated to comply with the court decision?
Meanwhile, on December 9 last year, the Arbitration Court Saratovoblast, despite the decision of the Arbitration Court of the Volga District, gave the share of LLC “Agroinvest” again to CJSC “Madin”. Thus, the first instance did not agree with the cassation and restarted the entire process of litigation, leaving the company’s share to Madin CJSC.
Perhaps, on February 1, the Twelfth Court of Appeal will cancel the decision of the lower court and take into account the opinion of the cassation. However, while the company is in the wrong hands, and very soon there may be nothing left of it.
As early as October 27, 2022, Agroinvest CEO Dmitry Kochnev, who came to his post after the court restored the right to a 100% share for Madin CJSC in August last year, initiated liquidation. The reason for the liquidation: the inability to pay debts to Rusagro, which, in turn, bought the right to claim Agroinvest from Sberbank.
It is striking that the option agreement between Rusagro and Sberbank to buy out the right to claim against Agroinvest was concluded on the same day – April 28, 2022, when the decision of the first instance was made to deprive Khokhlov of the right to own Agroinvest.
Recall that until 2015, 100% of the share of Agroinvest LLC belonged to Madin CJSC. In 2015 Madin sold the company to businessman Sergey Akimov, and in 2016 Andrey Khokhlov became the 100% owner of the company. Agroinvest, having gained independence, has developed into a large successful business with assets of almost 3 billion rubles.
While the tax authority was checking the authenticity of the judicial act, this large successful business, whose balance from 200 million reached 3 billion rubles, went into bankruptcy proceedings. And Khokhlov, who was reinstated in the cassation, cannot even take part in the bankruptcy of his company as a third party, because according to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, he is now nobody in Agroinvest. Now also the Arbitration Court Saratovoblast again returned to its previous decision, which was canceled by the Arbitration Court of the Povolozhsk district.
The editors learned that, using the terminology of the submitted certificate, the “correct” bankruptcy trustee Agroinvest filed a lawsuit against Khokhlov for causing losses in the amount of more than 5 billion rubles.
In addition, Rusagro applied for inclusion in the register of Agroinvest’s creditors of its claims purchased from Sberbank. It is logical to assume that in order to pay off the claims of Rusagro, absolutely all the property of Agroinvest will go completely into the bankruptcy estate. At the same time, Rusagro does not even hide its intentions, since the representative of the agricultural holding has already demanded in court that Agroinvest provide a list of all property, including land.
It is not known whether Andrei Khokhlov will be able to regain his company or whether business and property worth three billion can already be forgotten. The editors will continue to monitor the development of the event, but the situation is unprecedented. It turns out that any business bought from someone at the start and developed to a liquid company can simply go to its founder in one court session? Will someone be responsible for this?
Do the raiders have state assistants?
December 21 Interdistrict IFTS of Russia No. 22 SaratovThe Russian region responded to the editors of Anticorr.media that registration actions were suspended at the request of Andrey Khokhlov “in order to carry out activities aimed at confirming the accuracy of the information included in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities.”
January 9 Saratovoblast added that the applicant (that is, Khokhlov) was denied the changes in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities “due to the failure (by them) to submit the documents necessary for state registration.”
This is surprising. It turns out that Khokhlov himself does not want to return his business, in which he has invested all his strength and billions of rubles, and now he is just wasting time in numerous courts, not providing documents for registration within two months? What then did the tax check for authenticity? Obviously, the entrepreneur is simply not allowed to get his company back.
Why do such “plans” become a reality?
Raiding has become almost a common business activity of a number of companies. Plans are being formed in which illegal steps are prescribed without censorship. This “development” of criminal activity is well aware in the Investigative Committee.
In an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the chairman of the Russian Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, noted that raiding schemes are constantly being improved and they cannot do without the help of officials and law enforcement agencies.
The head of the UK also stressed that the seized property, as a rule, is legalized through many transactions for its alienation, the participants of which are fictitious legal entities.
A similar situation happened with saratovthe Russian agricultural holding Solnechnye Produkty, control over which was transferred to Rusagro in the course of an unfinished transaction, which resulted in a corporate conflict and led to bankruptcy. Today, the creditors of Solnechnye Produkty have succeeded in initiating a criminal case on the fact of deliberate bankruptcy.
Signs of deliberate bankruptcy were also revealed by the “correct” bankruptcy trustee of Agroinvest. We hope the police Saratovoblast will pay close attention to the issues of food security in the region. And it is high time to pay attention to the capture of the largest manufacturer in SaratovDistrict Prosecutor Sergei Filipenko.