2 weeks ago the Moscow Arbitration Court ruled that VIM Airlines (“VIM-Avia”) needs to pay back 980.3 million roubles (~16 million €) to the curator of the bankrupt Mosstroieconombank (M-Bank), Rambler news agency reported.
M-Bank was a member of the banking group owned by Anatoly Motylev, but he lost his licence in July 2015. In November of the same year, the bank was declared bankrupt.
The M-bank provided a loan to VIM-Avia as from 2013. The bank provided the airline 672 million roubles for the period up to 16 April 2015 at 15% per annum. In April 2015 a loan agreement was extended until September 2016, and the rate increased to 17%. After the withdrawal of the licence – in October 2015 – M-Bank has sent VIM-Avia a demand for early repayment of the debt on the loan, due to the delay. But VIM-Avia thought that the debt already had been compensated by promissory notes for a value of 568.6 million roubles.
The Moscow Arbitration Court decided that the promissory notes were invalid and as a result, the court decided that VIM-Avia needs to pay back to M-Bank 672 million roubles, 86,070,000 roubles interest payments and 222.2 million roubles penalty. The total amount of claims is about 980.3 million roubles (almost 16 million euros).
Next April VIM Airlines will start flying between China and Liège. Whether the court ruling will affect the operations of VIM Airlines is currently unclear.
VIM Airlines’ public relations director Elena Fedorova reacted to our article:
There are pending legal actions in the Moscow Arbitration Court from ZAO M Bank and OAO Bank Rossiysky Kredit for recovery of debt under loan agreements from LLC VIM Airlines. Currently, there is no court decision which has entered into legal force, so any comments on the amount of debt are still premature.
Concerning some loan agreements, there are settlement agreements concluded with OAO Rossiyski Kredit, under which LLC VIM Airlines settles indebtedness in strict accordance with the settlement agreement.
Currently, there are positive talks actively in progress with banks. This situation is a dispute of economic entities, and does not affect the airline’s operations. The management of VIM Airlines assures that there is no reason for concern and the situation will be resolved in the nearest future.