“Rising star of the oil market”. Kagalovsky looks at the ceiling. “A solid firm and a strategic partner of Yukos, “seemingly, deals with oil”. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on December 24, 1996.
On this day 25 years ago, in December 1996, the newspaper "Kommersant” openly hinted at yet another affair connected with the transfer of state shares to the hands of people who suddenly had got rich in the period of original accumulation of capital. A quarter of the century ago, members of the market were summing up the results of selling the stock of Yukos shares belonging to the state (33.3% of the total capital).
“RISING STAR OF THE OIL MARKET”
According to the result of the “tender”, published the day before, the third of the registered capital of the second large Russian oil company had been “acquired” by a certain JSC “Montblanc", which became popular in the whole world by having grabbed such a sweet spot of the state property and having proposed for the stock $160.1 million with the starting price of $160 million”.
The newspaper could not deny itself a pleasure to name the mentioned firm “a rising star of the oil market", and it was openly rejoicing while describing the briefing "devoted to the results of the tender to sell the stock of shares, pledged by the state", to the oil company, as this event started with the indecent delay of one and a half hours.
“There was a great temptation”, wrote the newspaper “Kommersant”, “to explain it with the sharp competition among the participants and the difficult position of the tendering committee. However, Konstantin Kagalovsky, the president of the tendering committee and a member of the Board of “Menatep”, confirmed this version only partially. In fact, there was a competition – for the right to purchase Yukos shares were fighting “Moscow food production factory” (controlled by “Menatep”), and the JSC “Montblanc".
“STRATEGIC PARTNER OF YUKOS AND A VERY RESPECTABLE FIRM”
Naturally, everybody wanted to know more about the “winner” of this tender. “The president of the Committee (from “Menatep”) only smiled and said that he didn’t remember the name and had, unfortunately, no documents at hand. More or less definitively, he characterized the sphere of activity of the company “Montblanc”. Looking at the ceiling, as if trying to discern what this JSC deals with, Mr. Kagalovsky said: “Seemingly, with oil”. His words were confirmed Sergey Generalov, vice-president of Yukos, who also took part in that briefing. He said he had also heard something about it. In their words, “Montblanc" is a strategic partner of Yukos and a very respectable firm, it had managed to deposit in the bank "Menatep” $360 million, as it had been demanded by the conditions of the tender. According to them, the main result of this event was that Yukos became the first completely private vertically integrated oil company in Russia”, reported the newspaper “Kommersant", stressing that as an epigraph to the press conference could well have served the familiar formula: “I know that you know”.
“Incomprehension of the situation demonstrated only one foreign reporter, who honestly didn't understand how the third of one of the biggest oil companies can be bought by an unknown company, the place of registration of which nobody remembers", summed up the media outlet, having left off-screen the name of the puzzled foreign publication.
Later, already in the course of the investigation, it was found out that Kagalovsky and Generalov, informing about “a very respectful firm”, invented, to put it mildly, everything along the way. “The strategic partner of Yukos” turned out to be a regular “shell company” of “transparent” Yukos. If the participants of the memorable briefing of Kagalovsky and Generalov, by virtue of technical problems of that time, couldn't prove the “respectfulness” of the firm, the investigation group could clarify almost all circumstances of this machination.
“MENATEP” AGAINST “MENATEP” UNDER CONTROL OF “MENATEP”
So, follow the “invisible hands of the market”. The scheme was exactly like that, which Khodorkovsky’s company, and he himself has been professing during his whole business and public life. Two structures came out “to compete”, and they both were under total control of the organized group of the “main shareholders” from Yukos and “Menatep". For complete happiness – the president of the tender committee was an official of “Menatep”. After the auction sales, on December 23, 1996, a corresponding protocol was drawn up, based on which, on December 24, 1996, an agreement No Ц-703 was formalized of purchase and sell of the security papers. The sum of the deal was 160,100,000 U.S. dollars with the liability to make investments to the amount of 200 million U.S. dollars during 1996-1998. Apart from that, it was not liquid money of Khodorkovsky or anybody of the main shareholders, this was the money of clients of the bank “Menatep”, which were, apart from physical persons and various commercial companies, budget organizations. Having acquired by such an insolent way the stock of shares, they sent the assets to "navigate through schemes".
THE SHARES WERE GONE TO OFFSHORES “FOR CONSOLIDATION”
The further destiny of the shares, acquired by the firm under the control of "Menatep” under the name of CJSC “Montblanc” in a “hard competition struggle” with the company “Moscow food factory”, became known a bit later – they were “siphoned” to offshores in order to hide the real possession of the oil company. As it was pointed out in the testimony of Gitas Anilionis, given for an American court, “the shares, in actual fact, belonged to Mr. Khodorkovsky, Mr. Lebedev, Mr. Nevzlin, Mr. Brudno, Mr. Dubov and other managers of the bank “Menatep” and CJSC “Rosprom”, and were under their control”. And such a “business model” generated new dubious operations, to say nothing of the aggressive tax dodging”, notes the website Prigovor.ru.
(See also the previous article “On this day, Khodorkovsky was arrested in absentia on charges of murders ”. The arrest in absentia of Khodorkovsky on the case of murder met with a “selective approach” of Interpol. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on December 23, 2015.