Putin seizes management of Russia’s largest automobile dealership

Putin seizes control of Russia's biggest car dealership



President Vladimir Putin positioned Russia’s largest automobile dealership beneath non permanent state administration on Friday, in a step the Kremlin stated was pushed by business logic however which its founder stated made the nation look uninvestable.

Rolf, which is owned by a Cyprus-based agency and was based by Russian businessman Sergei Petrov, was one of many first automobile dealerships to emerge after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Its seizure, set out in a decree printed on a authorities web site, comes after Moscow has taken non permanent management this yr of a number of Western-owned property in response to Russian property being frozen or disrupted by sanctions within the West.

Danish brewer Carlsberg and French dairy big Danone have been amongst these affected, however the seizure of Rolf, which has historically offered a variety of foreign-branded vehicles, marks the primary time a high-profile Russian enterprise chief has been relieved of his property on this approach.

Petrov, who lives in Austria, is accused by Russian authorities of illegally transferring cash overseas, which he denies.

“That is solely linked to financial expediency and compliance with the present laws of the Russian Federation and making an allowance for the identified worldwide financial state of affairs that’s round us now,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated.

Rolf was a Russian firm however one which had an possession scheme together with an offshore factor which required state intervention, Peskov added.

Rolf stated Alexei Gulyaev had been appointed because the agency’s new CEO, with Svetlana Vinogradova his first deputy.

The non permanent administration would haven’t any influence on Rolf’s operations, it stated. Rosimushchestvo, Russia’s federal property administration company, intends to develop Rolf and enhance its monetary efficiency, Rolf added.


Petrov referred to as the transfer one other blow to Russia’s funding panorama, questioning whether or not any traders from Asia, for instance, would danger shopping for stakes in Russian property.

“Non permanent (administration) means everlasting,” Petrov advised Reuters by phone. “We knew all this already. Bankers have already advised us – you can be put beneath exterior administration.

“That is presumably within the pursuits of one of many buildings now attempting to purchase up (property),” Petrov stated, suggesting the mechanism was getting used as a canopy to redistribute property.

“Folks make agreements utilizing political motives,” he added.

“This has a devastating impact on everybody. The state is, as a rule, inefficient, particularly in things like retail.”

Petrov was considered one of a handful of Russian businessmen to signal a letter in 2014 criticizing the harm to East-West relations after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.

Russian investigators launched an investigation into Rolf in 2019, accusing it of shopping for shares at inflated costs, a cost Petrov denied and stated might be linked to his political opinions.

In September, a former senior supervisor at Rolf was sentenced to 8-1/2 years in jail for allegedly taking part in a deal thought-about to represent an unlawful switch of funds overseas.

An arrest warrant for Petrov was additionally issued. 


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