Moscow: +7 495 234 4959 Saint Petersburg: +7 812 740 5823 London: +44 (0)20 7337 2600

Statements made by Roman Parkhomenko to the article ‘Transport and logistics complex’ by Valery Izrailit’s Transport and Logistics Complex Has Come under Scrutiny of the FAS Russia Central Office. Fontanka.ru, 4 December 2018

The Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation transferred to Moscow the latest complaint to the Petersburg FAS Office against the organizer of auction for the property of OAO Transport and Logistics Complex (TLC), valued at 9.3 billion rubles.

This complaint is from OOO Capital M from the Kemerovo Region. The Director, Andrei Matyushin, claims that the organizer of the TLK property auction, which took place on September 25, Saint Petersburg-based Sputnik, has violated antitrust laws. He asks for an order to annul their results. The complaint was sent to the Saint Petersburg Directorate of the FAS, however, it was taken for consideration by the central anti-monopoly apparatus.

‘Complaints against the actions of the bankruptcy receiver, the organizer of the auction, the operator of the electronic platform with a starting price of about and exceeding 1 billion rubles are considered in the central office of the FAS Russia,’ the press-relations service of the entire anti-monopoly agency explained to the Fontanka correspondent. In that context, Roman Parkhomenko, an advocate of the Pen & Paper, clarified: the threshold of 1 billion rubles applies only to public procurement tenders, however, the law allows the central office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service to take any complaint received by any territorial administration, for its own consideration.

The situation concerned is not quite common because of the fact that OOO Capital M has already complained to Saint Petersburg FAS Office about OOO Sputnik for exactly the same reason – but there were some other irregularities during the trading of the ‘Transport and Logistics’ complex property. Moreover, this complaint was considered on the merits, after which, the territorial administration satisfied the complaint and ordered Sputnik to cancel the decision on recognition of the auction as failed. But some time later, the Arbitration Court of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad Region overturned this decision of the Saint Petersburg FAS Office, and this judicial act may enter into force on passing the court of appeal.

It is appropriate to assume that the director of the Kemerovo company decided to have a plan B: if the 13th Arbitration Court of Appeal agrees with the first instance that the Saint Petersburg antimonopoly department did wrong, then the new complaint supported by new arguments would still not recognize the auction as failed. What is unexpected in this story is only a manifestation of interest in these events from the central office of the antimonopoly department.

Recognizing the sale of TLC property as failed in this case will entitle the main creditor of the TLC, OOO Novye Kommunalnye Tekhnologii, which is allegedly associated with the Saint Petersburg billionaire Ilya Traber, to purchase the property sold at a discount, because this will be the second failed auction.

In addition to OOO Capital M, lawyer Maria Kudinova, Cypriot investment company ACG Finance Limited, and Novotrans company owned by billionaire Konstantin Goncharov complained about the organization of these auctions to Saint Petersburg FAS Office. The latter recently announced the acquisition of a 76.55% stake in TLC.

The Cypriot ACG Finance Limited decided to be on the safe side as well: it appealed to the Arbitration Court of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad Region with the same complaints as to the FAS, and demanded that the disputed auction be declared invalid. The court has not yet made any decision on these proceedings.

‘Transport and Logistics Complex’ owns the land where the multi-profile transshipment complex ‘Yug-2’ is located, and the real estate built on this land plot. OAO Ust-Luga Sea Trade Port – a stevedoring company that controls this terminal is also owned by TLC. In January 2017, the TLC bankruptcy process started on the initiative of a certain OOO Gros Retail, which transferred the right to claim the debt to the above Novye Kommunalnye Tekhnologii.

Prior to the acquisition of shares of TLC Novotrans, this company was considered the main asset of billionaire Valery Izrailit.