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Russia biggest lender Sberbank hit with corporate raiding lawsuit in U.S.

Staff Writer |
Russia’s largest savings bank Sberbank is facing hostile takeover charges in the U.S.

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This is according to the documents from a New York court obtained by TASS.

Based on the documents, in November 2016, the U.S.-based PPF Management LLC filed a relevant lawsuit against Sberbank, the bank’s CEO Herman Gref, as well as Promsvyazbank and number of other Russian legal and physical entities with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The defendants are required to pay at least $750 mln, namely $500 mln as compensation for incurred damage and $250 mln as a compensation for moral harm.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Sergey Poymanov and Irina Podgornaya, controlling shareholders in the Pavlovskgranit company, one of the largest granite producers in Europe.

According to the plaintiffs, the defendants "conspired to take advantage of a market downturn" in order to conduct a hostile takeover of Pavlovskgranit. They also claim that the defendants tried to eliminate the company as a competitor.

"While pretending to offer realistic restructuring options, they purposefully maneuvered Mr. Poymanov into a position where he was essentially trapped," according to the complaint.

The document also said that Sberbank CEO Gref "used his reputation and influence in the government to shield Defendants’ actions from the investigations and reviews of the Federal Anti-monopoly Service."

The list of defendants also includes: the NEO Centre Consulting Group and its Vice President Oleg Gref, Sberbank Capital and its CEO Ashot Khachaturyants, co-owner of the National Non-Metallic Company Yury Zhukov and about twenty other companies and individuals. According to the complaint, Zhukov was the chief participant in the conspiracy.

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