On August 18 Moscow arbitration court is holding case hearings over collecting debt from Ediar Ltd., the operating company of Hediard Moscow store which is part of the eponymous French grocery trading house. Ediar Ltd has a 615.9 rubles debt before Mezhprombank and its bankruptcy trustee, the state corporation Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA).
This is not the only claim by DIA to consumer assets of Sergey Pugachev. On August 2, the court received two claims against a Swiss company Poljot International SA, which belongs to the son of Pugachev, Aleksander, and which owns the watch brand Polet and Blu. The claim amounts to 3.5 thousand rubles. On June 6 and August 2 DIA filed lawsuits against OPK Developmet and Sredniye Torgovyae Ryady LLC (a five-star hotel project on the basis of Federal State Unitary Enterprise Kremlevsky) totaling to $ 3.86 billion.
According to the card index of the Moscow Arbitration Court, since March DIA and Mezhprombank filed 140 lawsuits worth over 10 billion rubles to Mezhprombank borrowers. Many of the lawsuits claim very small amounts equal to a few hundred rubles.
Mezhprombank’s debt before the CBR at the beginning of the year was estimated at 32.4 billion rubles, total debt was 93 billion rubles. It has not been disclosed how much Sergey Pugachev and his entities owe Mezhprombank. Gennady Melikyan, First Deputy Chairman of Bank of Russia, in October 2010 estimated Pugachev’s companies obligations to Mezhprobank at 94% of total bank loans (about 150 billion rubles).
According to The Russian Mafia web-site (rumafia.com), the actual debt of Ediar is considerably over the amount specified by DIA in the lawsuit. In autumn 2010 Russian Hediard branch had an overdue debt before the bank of approximately 10 million euros. In 2011 the chain’s sales continue to fall.
Market experts say that, if after the court decision the borrowers do not repay the debt to Mezhprombank, ACB can initiate their bankruptcy and take the assets that it shall distribute among the creditors of Mezhprombank. The second option is that DIA can sell the debt to third parties.
Debt collection from the companies of Sergey Pugachev can take years, analysts say. If Mezhprombank borrowers start bankruptcy procedure, the process can take anywhere from two to ten years.