VTB filed a lawsuit against the former owners of Transaero to the value of 249 billion rubles
The bank accuses the Pleshakovs family of misrepresenting reports and withdrawing funds from the company.
One of the creditors of Transaero Airlines, VTB Bank, filed a lawsuit with the St. Petersburg Arbitration Court to bring former co-owners of the carrier to liability: Alexander Pleshakov, his wife Olga Pleshakova, and mother Tatiana Anodina. The amount of the claim is 249.2 billion rubles (3, 421 million Euros). It’s a debt of Transaero to all creditors.
Transaero was the second largest airline in Russia after Aeroflot. Taking into account 12% of quasi-treasury shares, under control of Pleshakov family was a 53% stake in the carrier, - writes VTB in the lawsuit. At the end of 2015, Pleshakov accumulated all papers, collecting 59.48%, reported Transaero.
In September 2015, Transaero had no funds left for operations, and Aeroflot paid for its flights. The deal on the entry of Transaero into Aeroflot failed. Rosaviatsia revoked the certificate of the operator from Transaero on October 26, 2015. In December, the carrier was declared bankrupt. In September 2017, the court introduced bankruptcy proceedings in the company.
VTB itself in 2014–2015 issued Transaero loans to 12.5 billion rubles (171,740 million Euros). VTB points out that due to the actions of the Pleshakovs and Anodina, full repayment of Transaero’s creditor claims is impossible. The bank accuses the defendants on the withdrawal of funds from the company, as well as on the distortion of statements.
Since the company was actually unprofitable, it could not pay dividends - VTB points out. But for 2013, the company paid out to shareholders 138 million rubles (1,896 million Euros). The plaintiff considers this as withdrawal.
In addition, the company paid remuneration to key management personnel in 2013 and 2014, respectively - 136 million (1,875 million Euros) and 148 million rubles (2,033 million Euros). Although in fact there was nothing to be rewarded for, since the company suffered losses.
The company freely disposed of funds, sometimes issuing irrevocable loans to subsidiaries, the lawsuit says. So, in 2013, the 100% subsidiary of Transaero Jeimbo Cyprus received 2 billion rubles (27,477 million Euros). And the other 100% subsidiary, Transaero Finance, received 1.3 billion rubles (17,860 million Euros). As of January 1, 2016, outstanding investments in Transaero subsidiaries amounted to 5.4 billion rubles (74,189 million Euros).
In 2015, the Pleshakovs left Russia. Pleshakov wrote to the Florida court that he lives in Azerbaijan and European Union countries.