One of KK&P’s insolvency cases has been listed among the Top-10 most interesting bankruptcy proceedings in Russia in 2017
KK&P’s partner, Nikolay Pokryshkin, and the firm’s team successfully represented the interests of Raiffeisen Bank and GALA-FORM in the bankruptcy proceedings of oil and gas companies Enisey and NGK, Razvitie Regionov in which the total claims amounted to more than five billion roubles. Raiffeisen Bank acted as a collateral agent under the Syndicated Loan Facility, which was issued by the three major Russian banks.
Pravo.ru included this case in their Top-10 most interesting insolvency proceedings in the Russian Federation in 2017.
Two major creditors – international oil trader GALA-FORM and Raiffeisen Bank – joined forces in the bankruptcy cases of oil and gas companies Enisey (№ А29-8711/2016) and NGK Razvitie Regionov (No. А05-10106/2016). Immediately after the bank issued a notice of its intention to launch insolvency proceedings against the debtors in the Autumn of 2016, the courts received more than 10 applications from other “questionable” lenders with minor claims. In order for the bankruptcy to be initiated specifically at the request of the bank as the largest creditor, GALA-FORM repaid the debt owed by other creditors in accordance with Article 313 of the Civil Code by transferring money to the notary’s deposit.
“Raiffeisen Bank and GALA-FORM thereby contributed to the approach set out in the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation’s recent rulings (No. 305-ЭС16-15945 and No. 306-ЭС16-19749) whereby the court recognised the majority creditor’s right to repay the claims of minority creditors, including those affiliated with the debtor”, says Sergey Lysov, associate at KK&P, the firm which represented the interests of Raiffeisen Bank and GALA-FORM.
Full text (in Russian): 2017’s Top 10 Most Interesting Bankruptcy Cases
The development in the Supreme Court’s practice was that the court recognised the legality of “compulsory purchase” of debt not only by the majority creditor of the debtor but also by other persons instructed by such creditor on the basis of, inter alia, their agency relationship.
Furthermore, lenders have begun to provide evidence of the assignment of claims in favour of other “quasicreditors”, i.e., individuals and legal entities, including those registered in offshore jurisdictions (in order to recognise the “purchase” claims as invalid, prevent rejection of “questionable statements” and to delay resolution of the matter of succession). At the same time, the debtors initiated challenges to notarisation of acceptance of funds in deposits. However, in the summer of 2017, the court considered the position of Raiffeisen Bank and GALA-FORM to be legitimate.
An important conclusion of the court was that, in order to resolve the issue and “discard” doubtful claims, there is no need to wait for the long proper notification of foreign entities (legal successors) and resolution of the question of succession in the chain of such offshore “quasicreditors” included in the chain of assignments specifically to delay the proceedings.
Nikolay Pokryshkin noted that, the project was complicated by dozens of parallel proceedings outside the bankruptcy, including three cases on challenging guarantees and corporate decisions on complex liabilities from syndicated loans under English law in three parallel processes in three regions of the Russian Federation, which were decisively won under the leadership of Oleg Kolotilov.