Debts are knocked out of the Kovpakov family
The family of State Duma deputy Lev Kovpak is being overwhelmed by creditors.
A series of major financial conflicts around the assets of one of the leading players in the market of everyday consumer goods in the Ural Federal District – GC “Best” – has been replenished with another decision. So, the capital company “RNGO”, associated with the bank “Zenith” and “Tatneft” named after V.D. Shashin, managed to recover hundreds of millions from the Yekaterinburg company Best-Pavilions. The obligations of the latter arose from a guarantee under a credit line opened by the Food Company.
As part of the dispute, business representatives from Yekaterinburg tried to insist on the nullity of the loan agreement, but the arbitration found their arguments insufficiently convincing. At the same time, major clashes continue in the framework of the Food Company bankruptcy case, in which they are trying, in particular, to bring the founder of the Kirovsky chain Igor Kovpak, his son, State Duma deputy Lev Kovpak, to a billion-dollar subsidiary liability. For the corresponding decision, for example, the bankruptcy trustee of the asset and RNGO are in favor, and the company from Germany – Zion GmbH points to the responsibility of Zenit Bank and a number of other persons. At the moment, the proceedings around the assets of the group are entering the next round, new players are drawn into the disputes, and the participants in the conflict are looking for explanations for the problems, including in family ties and dubious schemes.
OOO Best-Pavilions (Yekaterinburg) filed an appeal with a complaint about a major conflict with OOO RNGO (Moscow). To clarify, the first instance came to a decision to recover more than 523.3 million rubles from the Ural company.
As follows from the documents, initially, back in 2014, an agreement on a non-revolving credit line was concluded between PJSC Bank Zenit (62.66% was for PJSC Tatneft) and Food Company LLC (Yekaterinburg; previously declared bankrupt) . Best-Pavilions acted as a guarantor for the obligations.
According to the plaintiff’s representatives, Food Company improperly executed the agreement, and left the bank’s demands for a refund of funds unsatisfied.
Then, in 2019, Zenit Bank ceded the rights of claim to RNGO LLC, which entered into disputes with both the borrower and the guarantor.
It should be noted that during the proceedings, the representatives of Best Pavilion did not recognize the claims, and also referred to the alleged nullity of the loan agreement, and the passage of the limitation period. However, the Moscow Arbitration Court rejected these arguments, stating in particular that they relate to the assessment of the main loan obligation, and the surety agreement was not challenged in the manner prescribed by law.
Food Company LLC was declared bankrupt. As part of this case, in particular, they are trying to bring the founder of the Kirovsky network, Igor Kovpak, his son, State Duma deputy Lev Kovpak, Lev LLC, IP Kovpak Veronika Alexandrovna, and others to liability for the debts of the company.
It should be noted that Zion GmbH (Zion GmbH; Germany), which acted in a dispute against Tatneft Bank and RNGO, in turn demanded that PJSC Bank Zenit and other persons be brought to subsidiary liability. It is also worth emphasizing that, according to information from other proceedings, RNGO is included in the group of PJSC Tatneft named after V.D. Shashin, which in turn is listed as a shareholder of Zenit Bank.
In the spring of this year, the Arbitration Court of the Sverdlovsk Region denied the contestant and RNGO a subdivision for the Kovpak family and LLC Lev. However, the decision was subsequently challenged and sent for a new trial.
“The court did not examine the evidence, while in general there was uncertainty about what materials are contained in the selected proceedings. He considers that the court <…> unreasonably refused to satisfy the petitions filed by the RNGO, in particular: to call a witness; on the reclamation of information from the registry office in relation to Denisova AND.Oh., Kuznetsova L.V., Vershinina E.A. in order to verify the presence of family ties with Kovpak L.I. and other defendants; <…> Insists that the court of first instance prematurely concluded that Kovpak L.I., Kovpak V.A. and other defendants were not controlling beneficiaries; the court actually did not consider the dispute on the merits, did not evaluate all the stated arguments of the RNGO, set out in a consolidated position, ”it followed from the complaint of the metropolitan organization.
The bankruptcy trustee LLC Food Company also insisted on the shortcomings of the decision of the court of first instance. In particular, the arbitrator pointed to the argument that the bankruptcy was due to a situation in which “the volume of economic activity and the debtor’s revenues gradually purposefully decreased, while other companies of the Best group continued to work, and the volumes were redistributed to them.”
“The debtor was actually the Trading House of OOO Chistogorye, its economic activity and receipts of funds significantly depended on the volume of sales of the products of the LLC, on the preservation of legal relations for the supply with Chistogorye; the controlling persons of the debtor decided in the 1st quarter of 2019 to stop payments under the loan agreement with PJSC Bank Zenit, while the funds were still received on settlement accounts, and the debtor had the opportunity to pay regular payments, however, he preferred to make settlements with affiliates. The result <…> was the presentation by the bank of a demand for early repayment of the entire loan amount. Referring to the fact that the Best group also included companies whose beneficiaries were members of the Kovpak family, incl. Kovpak L.I., believes that it is reasonable to indicate in the application for bringing persons to subsidiary liability that these include, incl. Kovpak L.I.,” the manager’s complaint was noted.
Now the liability proceedings are ongoing, and recently, the court, at the request of the RNGO, requested information from the Federal Tax Service on the accounts of Chistogorye.
It should be noted that Alexander Artemyevich Popov, who was the beneficiary of the Best group, was among the participants of both Best-Pavilions LLC and Food Company LLC. The media have already described in detail how one of the largest players in the consumer goods market in the Ural Federal District had problems with banks. Subsequently, the Kovpak family became interested in the business of the Best Group of Companies. Alexander Popov himself was declared bankrupt, in addition, his name appears on the list of those who want to be held liable for the debts of the Food Company