Berezovsky sold shares for reasonable price - Abramovich's aide
MOSCOW, November 18 - RAPSI. Yevgeni Tenenbaum, who headed Sibneft's financial department, described at London High Court of Justice, where the $5.5 billion dispute between exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky and billionaire Roman Abramovich is being heard, the Russian market's specific character and how Sibneft's value was assessed, the hearing's transcripts read.
The court began hearing Berezovsky's lawsuit against Abramovich on October 3. Berezovsky seeks compensation for assets he was allegedly forced to sell to Abramovich between 2000 and 2003.
Berezovsky claims in his lawsuit that Abramovich intimidated him and his business partner Badri Patarkatsishvili into selling a number of assets, including a 43-percent interest in the Sibneft oil company and a stake in the Rusal aluminum group, at a fraction of their value.
"I think it is wrong to make assessments from a retrospective view. This was the company's value in Russia at the time, and it is absolutely wrong to compare even those changes in prices that happened over a year," Tenenbaum said. "This is what the market was ready to pay then," he added.
Tenenbaum worked in Sibneft until 2001. He is now holding the post of MHC Services managing director. He said that the price, under which Sibneft's free floating shares were traded in June 2001, could be taken for the company's value.
Berezovsky lawyer Lawrence Rabinowitz, who was interrogating Tenenbaum, called his position an absurd, since, according to Tenenbaum, the company which was able to pay more than $600 million in dividends several months after its sale, had a value of a little more than $1 billion.