Rosneft Takes Sistema to Court for 131.64 Billion Rubles Over Bashneft Payments

By Carlo Martuscelli Features Dow Jones Newswires

Rosneft Oil Co. (ROSN.MZ) said on Thursday that it had filed a lawsuit against Sistema JSFC (AFKS.MZ) for damages totaling 131.64 billion rubles ($2.23 billion) over dividend payments made by Bashneft--now owned by Rosneft--to Sistema, from 2009 to 2014.

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Rosneft maintains that Sistema deducted through a number of means, including dividend payments, funds earmarked for the business to function.

Sistema owned Bashneft before it was returned to state ownership by court decision.

Sistema said that it has not yet received any claim from Rosneft or Bashneft.

The Russian oil giant said that as a result of the depletion of funds, Rosneft had to invest billions of dollars into the business.

Rosneft said it had tried to reach an amicable agreement to avoid court, including helping Sistema reorganize its loans.

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"In light of the failure of all of our efforts--due to the refusal of the defendant to engage in dialogue and offer any constructive proposals--to settle the dispute, Rosneft and Bashneft will continue their attempts to recover damages and return those funds illegally withdrawn by the defendant," the company said.

In August a regional court in Russia had ruled in favor of Rosneft against Sistema and ordered the company to pay RUB136 billion. Sistema officials maintained that they were restructuring Bashneft, and preparing the company for and initial public offering.

Write to Carlo Martuscelli at carlo.martuscelli@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 07, 2017 09:56 ET (14:56 GMT)