Raiffeisenbank appeal dismissed in billion ruble JFC loan deal suit
ST. PETERSBURG, July 1 (RAPSI) - The Thirteenth Commercial Court of Appeals has dismissed a complaint filed by Raiffeisenbank against the lower court's refusal to invalidate a loan agreement worth 1 billion rubles ($30.6 million) signed between the subsidiaries of fruit importer JFC, the Supreme Commercial Court said on its website.
The reasons behind the decision have not been made public.
Raiffeisenbank appealed against the ruling of the St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region Commercial Court, which dismissed the bank's request to invalidate a contract under which Bonanza International lent 1 billion rubles to Cargo JFC.
Both companies are currently under bankruptcy administration, with Raiffeisenbank listed as one of the creditors.
"The plaintiff claims that the defendants in the dispute attempted to redistribute assets prior to the insolvency procedure," the court ruling says.
The court refused to invalidate the loan contract because it had not been proved that the defendants had intended to do financial harm to Raiffeisenbank and had planned to conceal assets from the bankruptcy creditors.
The ruling says that "the defendants' affiliation is not evidence of any breach of law, but, on the contrary, explains why a loan contract was signed for such a large sum of money."
In March 2012, the St. Petersburg Court of Appeals initiated administrative jurisdiction over JFC Group, Russia's largest fruit importer. Later in May, the court also began monitoring two other companies in the group, Cargo JFC and Bonanza International. By July 2012, the creditors' claims had reached 18 billion rubles (over $550 million).
Established in St. Petersburg in 1994, JFC Group comprises fruit production, procurement, storage, distribution and sales companies. It has 3,000 hectares of banana plantations in Ecuador and Costa Rica where it also has offices in addition to those in St. Petersburg, Moscow and other Russian cities, plus Cyprus. It has a staff of approximately 3,600. JFC is involved with fruit sales in Europe, the Middle East and the CIS.