Sistema Counter-Sues Rosneft, Bashneft, for $5.6 billion

By Carlo MartuscelliFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Sistema JSFC (SSA.LN) said on Friday that it was counter-suing Rosneft Oil Co. (ROSN.MZ) and Bashneft (BANE.MZ) for damages worth 330.45 billion rubles ($5.58 billion).

The legal challenge follows Rosneft's own lawsuit on Thursday against Sistema for damages totaling RUB131.64 billion rubles over dividend payments made by Bashneft--which is now owned by Rosneft--to Sistema, from 2009 to 2014.

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Sistema said that during 2017, Rosneft and Bashneft had deliberately and in bad faith tried to destroy Sistema's shareholder value and drive it into bankruptcy with the aim of enriching themselves.

Rosneft was not immediately available for comment.

Sistema acquired Bashneft in 2009 before it was returned to state ownership by a court decision in 2014. Rosneft maintains that Sistema stripped Bashneft of its assets through a number of means, including dividend payments, so that the business could no longer function.

Rosneft said that as a result of the depletion of funds, it had to invest billions of dollars into the business.

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

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 08, 2017 07:34 ET (12:34 GMT)