Monetary Claims against Bankrupt Russian Oil Company Yukos

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Amsterdam, 05 december 2018

The Amsterdam District Court has again decided on the estate of Yukos Oil Company (YOC): two ‘sub-subsidiary companies’ of the bankrupt Russian oil company can recover large monetary claims (46 billion roubles and 335 million dollars plus 79 billion roubles, being approximately 2 billion euros) from YOC.

Russian Judge Did Not Acknowledge Claims

The first company, FPH, had a claim on the basis of promissory notes (a sort of debt acknowledgement) from YOC at the moment the oil company was declared bankrupt in 2006. The other company, Yukos Capital, had lent money to YOC. However, the Russian judge did not recognize their claims in the bankruptcy. FPH and Yukos Capital did not accept this judgment and levied attachment on shares YOC had in a subsidiary company: Yukos Finance. The attached shares in Yukos Finance were sold, after the attachment was levied, by the Russian curator to the Russian company Promneftstroy. Promneftstroy does not recognize the claims of FPH and Yukos either: the promissory notes and money loans were, according to Promneftstroy, part of an illegal tax evasion/money laundering scheme set up by YOC.

Not Bound by the Russian Judgment

Since Yukos Finance is based in Amsterdam, FPH and Yukos Capital were able to start proceedings before the Amsterdam District Court. The Amsterdam District Court is not bound by the judgments of the Russian judge, as the Russian bankruptcy ruling (and therefore the authority of the Russian curator) is not recognized in the Netherlands and because it is not certain that the Russian decisions have been reached in an independent procedure that was covered by adequate safeguards.

Recovery from Attached Shares

The Amsterdam District Court is of the opinion that the Russian judgments (that did not recognize the claims of FPH and Yukos Capital in the bankruptcy) are not valid in the Netherlands. In addition, the District Court rules that FPH's promissory notes and the money loan agreements between Yukos Capital and YOC are legally valid. This means that the two ‘sub-subsidiary companies’ have valid claims against YOC. To actually enforce their claims, they can make a recovery against shares in Yukos Finance. This has to be accepted by Promneftstroy.

More Information

For more information, contact the Information & Communication department of the Amsterdam District Court by telephone: +31 (0)88-36 11 440, or send an email.

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