Tariko is broken by all standards | Latest news The Moscow Post
03 March 2024

Tariko is broken by all "standards"

Despite the lost court in Russia, Rustam Tariko's creditors do not stop chasing their debts. Whether they have time or not is a question, because the entrepreneur's business is in an extremely difficult situation and may collapse.

In the story of Rustam Tariko's Russian Standard Bank and its creditors, a dead end has re-formed. 49% of the bank is pledged by Citibank, which is owned by Citigroup, a US-based conglomerate of Western banks. They try to recover these shares to no avail, and Tariko - to remove the burden from them in order to survive under a heap of debts.

Details - in the material of the correspondent of The Moscow Post.

On the eve of Russian Standard Company CJSC and Russian Standard - Invest LLC filed lawsuits demanding to oblige Citibank, which operates in Russia, to delete records of encumbrance of 49% of their shares. Apparently, with such a "stone" at heart, Mr. Tariko simply finds it difficult to attract new loans to his business.

These claims were preceded by the end of a long lawsuit, where Citibank sought to recover these very 49% of the bank in its favor. The court refused, other instances refused. However, investors Tariko from Citibank, who hold 25% of offshore bonds Russian Standard Ltd (RSL) and probably consider themselves deceived, will continue to "chase" the businessman's assets

Photo: https://kad.arbitr.ru/Document/Pdf/5e062c35-925b-4dee-bbd6-f48ac6eb2230/23988f31-9be2-4161-ba3f-982df701a9b5/A40-168876-2020_20210202_Reshenija_i_postanovlenija.pdf?isAddStamp=True

For Citibank, the situation is complicated by the fact that the assets themselves are physically located in Russia. And if they are recovered, transactions with them will be hampered by this fact - for example, they will be difficult to sell. Apparently, Tariko is trying to take advantage of this.

Against this background, another news took place: in the summer of the outgoing year, Trust Bank threatened the companies of the Russian Standard holding with bankruptcy. The Trust considered that the holding violates the restructuring conditions by $85.7 million, and over the past year allegedly systematically allowed delays in the loan. But $85.7 million can be a drop in the sea - the volume of all debt in the "Trust" is not called.

Apparently, using all his connections and influences, Rustam Tariko managed to convince the structure not to file a lawsuit. They may have been waiting for the end of proceedings in Citibank's lawsuit. Regardless, Tariko cannot operate freely when half of his main asset in Russia is in limbo.

And here it would be nice to remember that the entrepreneur himself turned out to be the author of this whole situation. In 2014, trying to strengthen his position in the vodka market, he was able, as the people say, to "sell" the bonds of his Russian Standard bank to several foreign investors. And a year later, he offered his partners to restructure the debt.

This caused them indignation, especially since the restructuring was extremely suspicious. In fact, the bank's Eurobonds were simply replaced with bonds of the Russian Standard Ltd offshore company close to Tariko, the "bribes" from which turned out to be smooth - the investors simply did not return the money. And it started - the proceedings began.

In 2017, tired of fighting off claims, Tariko took an even more defiant step - Russian Standard Ltd defaulted on securities worth $545 million. It was reported to creditors that there was simply no way to pay. Of course, investors felt that they were inflated.

Among those who believed Tariko were domestic investors, including the former general director and editor-in-chief of Kommersant Publishing House Andrei Vasiliev. He appealed to the chairman of the public council under the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia Anatoly Kucheren from a whole group of default paper holders with a request for legal assistance.

Subsequent proceedings with creditors almost led to Tariko's prosecutors. In November 2020, the Moscow Prosecutor's Office announced that it would check information about possible illegal actions of the Russian Standard Bank. Earlier, State Duma deputy Vera Ganzya sent an appeal with a corresponding request.

However, either the prosecutor's office forgot about its intention (it is not known whether the check took place), or Rustam Tariko was able to "agree." In any case, he clearly had to be nervous...

There is a great suspicion that Tariko could simply spend the funds received from investors on his vodka business.

In 2015, he announced that Russian Standard CJSC would provide the bank of the same name with "gratuitous assistance" of 9.35 billion rubles. That is, at first I collected debts, then I transferred money from one basket to another, and the first company defaulted on bonds. Get your funds as you want, and at the same time I will sell more vodka. Amazing strategy.

However, it was not possible to solve all the problems with this money. In 2017, Tariko's Roust Corp structure, which exports his vodka abroad, filed a bankruptcy petition with a Manhattan court as part of a defense procedure against creditors owed $1.4 billion.

Did even a feint with bonds secured by a 49% stake in the Russian Standard not help? Or maybe the money was simply stored on the entrepreneur's offshore companies?

Alpha flew to the feast

By the way, about offshore companies. Until the beginning of 2022, CJSC Russian Standard Company belonged to the Bermuda offshore company Rust Trading Limited. For several years alcohol CJSC "Rust Inc." The latter acted as a supplier for government contracts worth 30 million rubles - and this is with a whole army of creditors running for Tariko. It turns out that their money, coupled with budget money, could go abroad?

Photo: Rusprofile.ru

Rust Russia JSC is one of the key divisions of the Tariko alcohol division; until September 2021, it was also registered with the SAYREY HOLDING INC offshore company from the British Virgin Islands. Now JSC is in the deepest crisis. At the end of 2022, the net loss amounted to 2.7 billion rubles, assets decreased significantly.

Photo: Rusprofile.ru

Offshore Tariko really loves. According to the Web, allegedly at one time he could be involved in the withdrawal abroad of money from depositors of the bankrupt Forward bank. Moreover, part of these funds from offshore could go to finance the Armed Forces of Ukraine. If this is true, then against the background of this, rumors look logical, allegedly Rustam Tariko has not appeared in Russia for a long time. So to speak, away from sin.

This is not to say that Rustam Tariko did not try to save the financial situation at all. Against the background of debts in 2021, he sold CEDC, the largest vodka producer in Poland, including the legendary Zubrovka, for $1 billion. Only from this money creditors, it seems, did not get anything.

Because just a year after that, he had to restructure his debt of 8 billion rubles to Alfa Bank. Why did Mikhail Fridman go to a businessman to meet? Perhaps because he could plan to subsequently profit from part of his liquid property.

Creditors were so desperate to receive funds from Tariko that they attracted A1 from Alfa Group of the same Friedman to work on recovering them. They decided to facilitate a lawsuit against Tariko from the holder of default Eurobonds Russian Standard Ltd, Pala Assets in a debt dispute of 3.7 billion rubles. In that situation, the pledgee of the shares of the Russian Standard, i.e. Citibank, was involved in the dispute by a third party.

The claims of Pala Assets for 3.7 billion are due to the fact that it was this amount that the value of the bank's pledged shares decreased, which caused losses to the fund. But that was a few years ago. Now the shares of Tariko structures can cost even cheaper, and subsequently completely depreciate.

It is difficult to believe that in such a situation, Mr. Tariko did not try to collect a cup for himself personally - perhaps it is worth looking for money from creditors there. By the way, where is Tariko himself? Rumor has it that he allegedly did not appear in Russia a long time ago. Perhaps he already "didn't give a damn" about some debts there, and he just enjoys life on the loans he gained.

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