Forum Group demands a billion from a partner in Solnechny in Yekaterinburg, who was accused of missing deadlines and lack of permission
Arcos-Stroy considers the developer’s claims “absurd” and threatens a counterclaim
The Arbitration Court of the Sverdlovsk Region is preparing to consider a claim for a record amount brought by the developer JSC Forum-group against one of its subcontractors, Arcos-Stroy LLC.
According to the card index, the plaintiff estimated his claims at RUB 955,569,327. 46 kopecks, but more detailed information is not provided in court before the case is considered.
Forum Group Legal Director Sergei Buivolenko confirmed both the fact of filing the claim and the amount of the claims. However, he refused to talk in more detail about their essence, limiting himself to the general description of the dispute – “the contractor’s failure to fulfill contractual obligations.”
We are talking about the work on laying water supply, sewerage and heating systems, which was carried out by Arcos-Stroy in the new Forum Group building in the Solnechny microdistrict on Luchistoya, 8. According to the documents, the complex of four buildings is considered a single object, divided into two stages of construction , the subcontractor worked on both, but the claims are currently only related to the second.
At the same time, before the trial, the general director of the developer Sergei Myamin (until 2016 – deputy head of the Yekaterinburg administration) sent a notice/claim to his counterparty (a copy is available to Pravda UrFO). The document, with the wording “in particular (but not exclusively),” indicates a number of claims related to the failure to meet deadlines for the installation of heating and radiator wiring in six sections (entrances. – Editor’s note) of a new multi-apartment building. They became the basis for the claim, and the amount was made up of the contract price (47.1 million rubles) and the penalty calculated by the plaintiff.
The defendant company, in turn, speaks of the unreasonability of both the amount that the developer demands from them and each specific claim – at the moment, Arcos-Stroy is guided by this notice in its preparation for the proceedings. Director Nikolai Popov, in particular, calls the stated demands “absurd” and insists that all the contractual deadlines specified in the complaint are associated only with the untimely provision of work fronts.
“We started work on the first stage of this facility, and then there was a completely constructive situation with our performance of work and payment for it. A few months later we went to the second one – at that time there were no signs of problems. If questions arose, they were resolved promptly. So, on November 8 last year, we signed an additional agreement to postpone the first stage. But documentary confirmation of the adjustment for the second stage was refused, although in fact it was carried out – they referred to the fact that the contract was drawn up before August 2023, and there is no point in adjusting the intermediate stages,” explained the head of the defendant company.
At the end of the same month, Arcos-Stroy wrote a letter about the delay due to the fact that the general contractor did not transfer the scope of work, after which the first serious problems with the execution of the contract began. The subcontractor claims that “on flimsy pretexts they refused to accept the volumes actually completed, to sign KS-2 – KS-3, and, accordingly, to make payments.” As a result, the subcontractor performed the work at his own expense, and the company considers losses from this to be incomparable with the economic interest under the contract.
“At the end of March, we wrote a letter stating that we had lost interest in further work under the contract, and offered to draw up an act of transfer of actually completed volumes. After this official refusal, the customer’s representatives resorted to outright deception and fiction. Under the pretext of signing and accepting the actual scope of work performed, the customer convinced me that all disagreements had been resolved and it was necessary to withdraw the refusal to execute the contract. The point of completion of their scheme was the termination of the contract at the initiative of the customer at the moment of creating the appearance of settling the dispute and the promise to sign acceptance documents, which the customer had to sign in any case,” Nikolai Popov shares his judgment.
In the aforementioned notice, representatives of Forum Groups stated that they were ready to abandon legal proceedings if the defendant paid an amount 10 times less than the cost of the claim. Arcos-Stroy left it unanswered and states that a number of claims are directly refuted by the protocols of weekly operational reports (copies are available to Pravda UrFO) – in accordance with them, the actual pace of fulfillment of obligations under the contract by the subcontractor corresponded to the construction plan.
In addition, Arcos-Stroy is now preparing to file a counterclaim – for the work actually completed, the company has still not received full payment, and from their point of view, Forum Group itself is a debtor.
“For Forum Group, the result of the scheme is an obvious economic effect: since we did not agree to “donate” 28 million of the money we did not receive, we receive a demand for a penalty of 1 billion rubles with the clause “you can pay 95 million before the trial,” and the icing on the cake is a proposal to forget about paying for the work actually performed,” says Nikolai Popov.
The main hostages of the billion-dollar dispute were the residents of the new building, under the windows of which is the Governor’s Lyceum, one of the region’s image projects. As it became known to Pravda UrFO, during pre-trial negotiations, representatives of Forum Group made claims that Arcos-Stroy did not have permission to commission heating systems. However, despite this, the house was accepted by officials of the Yekaterinburg administration and is currently being occupied by residents.
How this was done if the developer did not have permits for one of the key elements of the municipal infrastructure, any accident on which directly threatens the health and lives of people, is unknown. Arcos-Stroy admits that during the court hearing they will file a petition for an examination of the building to determine whether it is safe for habitation.
JSC Forum Group is a development company with headquarters in Yekaterinburg. The founder and chairman of the board of directors is Oleg Cherepanov. The most famous projects: Tikhvin club house, Rainbow Park shopping center, Solnechny microdistrict. In 2022, revenue amounted to 5.3 billion rubles, net profit – 2.8 billion rubles.
Arcos-Stroy LLC is part of the Arcos Group of Companies, Yekaterinburg, and Nikolai Popov is named as the beneficiary. Specializes in the construction of utilities for water supply and sewerage, installation of heating systems. Revenue for 2022 amounted to 2.2 billion rubles, net profit – 15.3 million rubles.