The investigative Committee of Russia completed the investigation of a fight between the head of Miraks-Group Sergey Polonsky and businessman Alexander Lebedev. According to the investigation, Lebedev, participating in the program “NTVshniki” which took place on September 16, 2011, “inflicted bodily injuries to S. Polonsky”.
Hundreds of thousands of Russian television viewers saw in the newscasts how, during the filming of the program, Lebedev hit Polonsky who was sitting next and held out his hand towards him. Polonsky fell off his chair, and then the hosts of the program called security. Later Polonsky demonstrated online a bruise on the background of his jeans torn on the backside. With all the evidence of what happened, the investigators took two weeks to open a criminal case on “hooliganism” and another year - in order to investigate the case.
Lebedev was recognized as the instigator of the fight. If the court finds him guilty, he will face five years in prison. The businessman refused to give a written undertaking not to leave as required by the investigators. He believes that “such a measure of restraint is unreasonable” because he “has never shied away from appearances in law enforcement bodies during the whole year of the investigation into this incident“. Furthermore, Lebedev said that the charge against him is “completely invented” and that “there are political motives unknown to me behind this charge“.
However, it is not so necessary to look for political background in this case. It is quite possible that this is only revenge of offended Polonsky. Despite the fact that, according to the business media, the total debt of his Potok 8 (former Mirax Group) is more than $ 1 billion, he still has serious patrons. One of them is Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich. His brother, Michael Dvorkovich, is a business partner of Polonsky.
It is interesting that immediately after the SKRF (Investigation Committee of Russia) announcement, it became known about the institution of a criminal case upon large fraud in the time of the construction of Mirax Group multifunctional residential Kutuzov mile complex. According to the version of the investigation, the group management stole more than $100 million from the shareholders, but the complex was never really put into operation and became one of the largest and most expensive Moscow unfinished construction projects.
Now the criminal case for the crime under Part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code (“fraud in especially large size”) is being investigated by the Main Investigative Department of GU the Ministry of internal Affairs in Moscow. The case was opened in early September, by the statements of shareholders of the Kutuzov mile complex the construction of which was frozen as far back as 2009.
The shareholders were trying to achieve initiating of criminal proceedings against the Mirax Group management for several years assuming that the money which had been collected from them were used inappropriately, and the company sold the apartments which didn’t correspond to the parameters of the approved project.
Polonsky himself farsightedly escaped from lenders outside Russia. According to some data, he runs between Cambodia and the United Kingdom. The affairs of his developer company are run by the banker Alexey Alyakin. Moreover, as it became known, Polonsky plans to transfer to Alyakin about 25% of the group. In exchange, the banker will take commitment on the loan for the construction of the East tower of the Federation complex (it is selected about $ 130 million from $ 373 million credit line). But Sberbank, which was issued the loan, objects to such a transaction.
According to data of the last year, the portfolio of Potok was 8.8 million square meters. The most large-scale projects are the Federation complex (439 sq. m.), Myakinino (250 sq. m.), Rublevskaya Riviera (330 sq. m.). It is unknown who and in which shares really owns Potok now.
Polonsky said that he learned about the criminal case from the media. “I do not know who could initiate the case. It maybe some of my partners”, he said. However, the conflict of shareholders of Potok (former Mirax Group) started in July this year. Then Polonsky announced that he consolidated 100% of this company. The other shareholders didn’t agree with it: Maxim Temnikov, the co-owner of the Adamant holding, Vladimir Golubev and the former president of the United Shipbuilding Corporation Roman Trotsenko assured that they hadn’t sold their shares.
The press informed that Sergey Polonsky very easily adapted in Moscow developer market. The businessman explained the success as he could quickly establish relations with local business environment and city administration. Polonsky also mentioned the mayor of Moscow Jury Luzhkov and his wife, the head of "Inteko", Elena Baturina.
Source: "Vedomosti", 7/11/2007
It was informed that, under some data, "Mirax Group" was managed through a network of offshore and fly-by-night companies. And, on the hearings, Polonsky transferred money received from investors into personal accounts abroad.
Sources: Compromat.Ru, 10/8/2008, lenta.ru referring to The Moscow Post from 3/23/2009
In the beginning of 2000s Sergey Polonsky appeared in a press at the description of the crisis situation in Moscow and Petersburg markets of share building in connection with ZAO "RosGlavMaterials". In particular, as mass-media informed, shareholders of the objects constructed by ZAO "RosGlavMaterials" picketed Smolny and demanded from the city authorities to help with solving their problems. According to the press, in 2004 the founder of ZAO "RosGlavMaterials" Evgeny Dondurey declared that Sergey Polonsky actively used "black PR" and threatened the competitors. However, the press informed also that company "RosGlavMaterials" was renamed to "Stroymontazh" and tried to be advertised under a name of the company of Polonsky and Kirilenko.
Sources: lenta.ru referring to The Moscow Post from 3/23/2009, B-f.ru from 5/27/2004, «Company Secret» №5 2/7/2005
According to the press, Sergey Polonsky is not charitable at all. It was informed that in 2007 at divorce in with the mother of his second son, the proprietress of company "Stroyconsultgroup" Natalia Stepanova he sold OOO "Mirax" to the Netherlands offshore. The press connected it with unwillingness of the businessman to pay huge alimony to the ex-spouse. It was informed that Stepanova did not manage to seize 250 million dollars (a quarter of jointly acquired property) at Polonsky and she could count only on 150 thousand roubles monthly for the child. Polonsky declared that his son would live as "crown prince".
Sources: RB.ru from 7/11/2007, "Vedomosti" from 7/11/2007, «Express newspaper» from 10/22/2008, "Compromat.Ru" from 10/8/2008
According to the press, Sergey Polonsky's behavior is at least extravagant. It was informed that in March, 2008 at cocktails party in honor of opening of an exhibition of real estate MIPIM-2008 in Cannes he as declared: "Those who do not have a billion, can go to hell!" In February, 2010, during session of Board of directors of "Mirax Group" he unexpectedly thrown phones of several top-managers of the company to the wall then left. Polonsky declared that «he lay the whole day in real coffin driven by the real nails, at real cemetery surrounded by real dead men». When the economic crisis begun the businessman promised «to eat his tie» if in one year and a half the price for his apartments would not grow up for 25 %. Polonsky shocked people when he gave names Mirax to the son and a dog and also declared that he wished to buy the Moon.
Source: Compromat.Ru from 10/8/2008, news agency Rosbalt from 3/1/2010, «Your day» from 2/27/2010
The press wrote about the conflict between Mirax Group and the developer company
"Sistema-Gals". As it was informed, in December, 2007 Mirax and "Sistema-Gals agreed that the corporation will get at "Sistema-Gals" 50 % in the joint project of the elite house on a building place of "Literary newspaper" in Kostyansky lane in Moscow. According to mass-media, "Sistema-Gals" fulfilled obligations of the transaction, and Mirax ostensibly did not transfer payment. The sum of transaction, as press wrote, made $24 million. "Sistema-Gals" applied to Moscow arbitration with the requirement to withdraw with Mirax Group the back payment and the penalty. In August, 2009 "Sistema-Gals" assign 20 million dollars debts of Mirax Group to BVT Group to which it ran into debt with the similar sum. BVT Group, in turn, had debts to Mirax for payment of premises in the project "Wellhouse on Dubrovka" and a business center "Federation" in Moscow IBC "Moscow-city". So as a result, according to mass-media, all three companies actually exchanged debts.
Source: riarealty.ru from 22.09.2009
According to the press, in summer of 2009 «Mirax Group» had debts for $550 million, the basic creditor - "Alfa bank".
As it was informed, «Mirax Group» faced serious problems in 2009. The company could not pay a debt in 265 million dollars to the Swiss bank Credit Suisse, and also to pay off with other creditors. The total sum of debts of Mirax was estimated in 779 million dollars. In July, 2009 a debt of "Mirax Group" at Credit Suisse was redeemed by "Alfa bank". Right after that the bank submitted the claim to Arbitration court of Moscow, having demanded to withdraw a part of the debt from the company - about 242 million roubles.
Sources: "Kommersant" № 128 (4183) from 7/17/2009, "Vedomosti" from 8/4/2009
In this connection in a press the opinion was expressed that "Alfa bank" could continue to redeem debts of "Mirax Group», to lead the company to bankruptcy and to take it under the control. As it was informed, in August, 2009 under the claim of "Alfa bank" the court seized accounts and property of affiliated companies of "Mirax Group" – OAO "International centre" and ZAO "Mirax-city".
Sources: «Business newspaper» from 20.07.2009 "Kommersant» № 151 (4206) from 8/19/2009
On August, 20th Polonsky shower his powerlessness, having published in the blog in the Internet that the real estate of "Mirax Group" ceased to be on sale and that the companies refused to give out credits, and because of shortage of means terms plant handover was postponed. Polonsky also assumed that affiliated companies «Mirax Group» would pass into the ownership of "Alfa bank".
Source: Gazeta.Ru from 8/20/2009
As it was informed, in September Mirax agreed with "Alfa bank" about debt re-structuring for 18 months, having promised to pay a half with money, and another – with the areas in a tower "Federation".
Source: realty.newsru.com 17.02.2010
According to the press, today "Alfa" continues to entangle Mirax with debts. In particular, "Alfa bank" declared readiness to finance end of construction of a tower "Federation" in "Moscow-city" raised by «Mirax Group». In December, 2009 when the tower "East" of a complex "Federation" reached 64 floors Sergey Polonsky declared that the building would not be completed to originally conceived height in 94 floors as «Mirax Group» could not take the credit below 25-40 % annual. To complete a tower "East" to originally conceived height, according to the press, it is required about $240 million
As it is informed, for March, 2010 a total sum of debts of «Mirax Group» was estimated in $550 million. According to the developer, delayed debts on 2009 make $120.8 million. Debt to structures of "Alfa" excluding the bought up credit at Credit Suisse makes $99 million and $44 million from which are delayed.
As it is written in a press, "Alfa bank" in the beginning of 2010 tried to receive the control almost over all debts of «Mirax Group»: negotiations were carried on for the repayment of promissory notes at other creditors of the company, in particular, - at fund Carval ($42,7 million) and CLN and bonds holders (the largest — Bank of Singapore, Promsvyazbank). As it is informed, company debts under bonded loans make 1.84 billion rubles (about $62,7 million, from which 923 million rubles are delayed since September, 2009), on CLN — $236 million According to mass-media, except "Alfa" the developer owes $27 million to MDM-bank (repayment term expired on March, 1st) and still to a number of banks. According to one of experts, Mirax is in default or pre-default condition with a number of obligations.
Source: «Kommersant» № 48/P (4348) from 3/22/2010
Company "Stroymontazh" which Sergey Polonsky divided with Arthur Kirilenko and in which he kept 10 percent of shares could not overcome crisis times at all. It was informed that on the end of 2008 a debt of the company to creditor banks and investment companies made 6,1 billion roubles. In the end of December, 2008 in Arbitration court of St.-Petersburg two claims to "Stroymontazh" from the Baltic bank for 967 million roubles ($28,5 million) come. In April, 2009 “Alfa bank” submitted the claim to the company to Moscow arbitration having demanded to return more than $13 million
Source: "Kommersant-SPb" № 57 (4112) from 4/1/2009
In June, 2009 as it was informed in a press, the Petrograd district court of St.-Petersburg made decision to withdraw debts of corporation "Stroymontazh in the sum about billion roubles in favor to the Baltic bank”. Money must be paid personally by the president of the company - Arthur Kirilenko acting as the guarantor under credits. On October, 22nd at the initiative of the Baltic bank all real estate belonging to "Stroymontazh" was put arrest. Having suspected "Stroymontazh" of transfer assets out, the Baltic bank applied to police. In September, 2009 criminal case about deliberate bankruptcy with the search at office of "Stroymontazh” was submitted.
Except Baltic bank and "Alfa bank" "Stroymontazh" ran into debt still to variety of banks. In the end of November, 2009 in "Stroymontazh" external management was entered.
Sources: "Fontanka.ru" from 06.10.09, pro-n.ru from 11/26/2009
As press wrote, because of financial problems Sergey Polonsky had to leave to one of the largest hotels at Turkish coast Sungate Port Royal.
In January, 2009 Polonsky wrote in the blog about plans to sell Sungate Port Royal, and also yachts and the house at Azure coast to get money for the further construction of the objects. Then, as mass-media informed, it became clear that Mirax Group could not serve the credit taken for purchase of hotel in Vakif Bank. According to the press, the bank refused re-structuring and raised the rate under the credit up to 24 % annual.
In February, 2010 it was declared that Sungate Port Royal was sold to Turkish investors for 190 million euro - 150 million more cheaply than structures of «Mirax Group» bought it three years ago.
It was informed that as the buyer of hotel there was the consortium of the Turkish investors which participants were clients of Vakif Bank. Thus, press wrote the debt for Vakif Bank was completely covered.
Sources: "Kommersant" №31/С (4331) from 2/24/2010, newsru.com from 2/24/2010
In February, 2010 on request of ecologists building of a mounting skiing resort which was conducted by shareholders of "Mirax Group» in Switzerland was suspended. The project with total cost of 300 million dollars caused censures from local branch of the World fund of the wild nature (WWF) and Fund of protection and landscape arrangement. After the petition of ecologists, Council of the Swiss canton Valais came to a conclusion that examination of water protective constructions was done improperly and also all consequences of building on dry mountain plateaus which were nature sanctuaries of federal value were not investigated. As a result the decision of a commune of Mollen (part of Valais) which in the end of last year gave out construction license to the Russian investors (the main of them - shareholders of Mirax Sergey Polonsky, Maxim Temnikov and also their partner Vladimir Marakutsa) was cancelled and building of mountain-skiing complex Aminona-Est was postponed. «Mirax Group» declared that all wishes of local authorities would be taken into consideration and also the company would start project realisation.
Source: realty.newsru.com 25.02.2010
On February, 17th, 2010 the press informed that the head of affiliated structure of Mirax - "Mirax Group Ukraine" - Nikolay Nikitenko was detained at the airport of Kiev (in Ukraine company Mirax builds a multipurpose complex "Mirax Plaza"). In Security service of Ukraine (SSU) they declared that Nikitenko was suspected in corporate raids. Representative of SSU informed that Nikitenko was forbidden entrance to Ukraine for a period of five years as, under data available for special services; he used the offshore companies and the Ukrainian commercial enterprises for illegal assigning to himself or the third parties of the property right to the Ukrainian enterprises. SSU also declared carrying out of investigation which should establish participation of Nikitenko in crimes, in particular, - to raids in territory of Ukraine concerning the Ukrainian enterprises.
According to mass-media, Nikitenko who has Russian and Swiss citizenship connected the troubles with "people from the leaving power". As it was informed, representatives of "Mirax Group» applied to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia to solve the situation. In the end of March Nikitenko was permitted to enter Ukraine. According to the press, SSU took away from him charges and suspicions in creation of threat to economy and safety of the country. In «Mirax Group» in this connection it was declared that "new management and Security service of Ukraine resolved a current situation quickly and effectively".
Sources: newsru.com 17.02. 2010, pravo.ru from 3/30/2010
In February, 2010 the claim about bankruptcy of OOO "Mirax city" (a part of Mirax Group), the investor of building of Well House in Dubrovka was submitted. In Arbitration court of Moscow one of designers of Well House - Institute of metal constructions applied. The sum of claims made about 140 thousand dollars. According to the representative of the Institute "Mirax city" didnot pay for design works of the object for the sum of 4,25 million roubles that was confirmed by Moscow arbitration and the Ninth arbitration appeal.
Source: realty.newsru.com 17.02. 2010
In March, 2010 Institute of metal constructions projecting also the tower "Federation" submitted also the claim regarding bankruptcy of "Mirax-city" - the customer of building of a tower. As it was informed, claimants demanded for 4,6 million roubles.
In a press the conflict between Sergey Polonsky and the owner of "Independent newspaper» Konstantin Remchukov is described. On February, 27th, 2009 «IN» published an article "Mirages from Mirax Group" in which it was said that the company could not pay off with creditors and because of that it froze a part of projects. In the publication it was also supposed that Sergey Polonsky could repeat destiny of the founder of financial pyramid МММ Sergey Mavrodi. Polonsky accused Remchukov of the publication of an invited paper and, having addressed in court, demanded to deny the information. «Mirax Group» estimated moral harm in 100 thousand roubles. Then on air of radio station "Echo of Moscow" Polonsky accused Remchukov of he "took money" for the publication of the negative information about Mirax Group and "should be imprisoned". Then Remchukov demanded to involve Polonsky in the criminal liability for the insult: the edition management declared that it brought the claim about an honour and dignity protection to Sergey Polonsky and prepared the reference in Office of Public Prosecutor with requirement to involve it to the criminal liability for the insult in mass-media. Then, as press wrote, Remchukov and Polonsky met and discussed a current situation. Then, in the end of March, 2009, Mirax Group and "Independent newspaper" declared the conclusion of the agreement of lawsuit.
Source: «Kommersant» № 53 (4108) from 3/26/2009
On April 1, 2010 «Mirax Group» appeared in the centre of the next scandal. Mass-media informed that the search was conducted in the company office in a tower "Federation" organised by management of the capital Municipal Department of Internal Affairs with the assistance of employees of department of economic safety (DES) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. According to the press, seizures of documents were connected with criminal case concerning the former top-manager of the company Maxim Privezentsev. It was informed that case under article 165, point 3 of the criminal codes of the Russian Federation (causing of a property damage by a deceit in especially large size) was raised already on September 18, 2009. Privezentsev was accused being among other things a head of condominium partnership «Golden keys» he made unapproved connection to the electric system of this association. As a result, on a version of the investigation, in premises of the trading-entertaining centre and the sport complex located at the same address in 2006-2009 stolen electric power was illegally used. The damage, on a version of the investigation, made 4,1 million roubles.
Experts assumed that criminal case concerning Privezentsev could be initiated by Mirax Group. According to the press, on March, 25th 2009 Sergey Polonsky at press conference accused Privezentsev of theft of one of the companies of «Mirax Group» and $40 million As it was informed, till October, 2009 Privezentsev was the co-owner and the chairman of the board in Mirax Group. And also had a share in "Mirax-service" which was engaged in modernisation of Kursk station. It was informed that in this project Mirax Group enclosed about 40 million dollars. According to some information, Privezentsev supervised over the project joint to the Russian Railway through under controlled "BFM-KURSK station". Referring to a source in «Mirax Group» journalists wrote that Privezentsevostensibly stolen the company which was engaged in reconstruction of Kursk station, and refused to transfer it to Mirax Group until Polonsky pays off with him.
According to the press data, the company is the owner of «Golden keys» and the case for Privezentsev could be initiated by «Mirax Group». It turns out that Sergey Polonsky's company is an affected party. It looked suspicious that Polonsky informed about search carrying out in his blog (with a mark "it not a joke"), and the videoclip in which as it was informed in a press, employees of the company did not look not frightened but rather interested was downloaded operatively to web-site of Mirax Group and in the ending the cheerful laughter similar to laughter of Polonsky sounded.
Sources: forbesrussia.ru from 4/1/2010, realty.newsru.com from 25.03. 2010, from 4/2/2010
As mass-media wrote, in crisis Mirax Group lost the basic top-managers who stood at its sources. It was informed that in December, 2008 the corporation was left by Alexey Adikaev, in 2009 — Maxim Privezentsev and Dmitry Lutsenko. Journalists noticed that, despite financial problems, Mirax Group actively hires new managers. As it was informed, in 2009 the company management included the ex-head of Gosstroy, the head of Russian Builders’ Association Nikolay Koshman and also Mikhail Dvorkovich, the brother of the assistant to president Arcady Dvorkovich. Koshman held a post of the first vice-president of board of Mirax Group, and Dvorkovich — the adviser of the chairman of board of directors (Sergey Polonsky). In the beginning of 2010 the top management of the developer was filled up with the son of the head of department of city construction of Moscow - Oleg Kosovan, who was appointed to the post by directors for management of investment projects of Mirax Group. The press wrote that new appointments could help corporations to survive within financial crisis. In particular, referring to a source in the government of Moscow, it was informed that with the appointment of Kosovan Mirax Group can cut down the organizational expenses connected with registration of the project documentation and receiving of approvals for new constructions.
Source: "RBC daily" from 2/2/2010