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Defamation campaign against ‘Vilniaus prekyba’ and affiliated companies

In the midst of 2015 a defamation campaign of unprecedented scale against the largest business group in the Baltics – ‘Vilniaus prekyba’ and affiliated companies – was launched. The main architect behind this campaign is minority shareholder of the same group – Mindaugas Marcinkevičius.

The mentioned campaign involved broad array of tools set to exert pressure on the largest shareholder – multiple lawsuits against the companies and its top management, property arrest, asset freezing, provision of inaccurate and false information to the media, involvement of public officials, politicians and many others. The most importantly – serious accusations about apparent tax evasion schemes in the group companies were casted.

Gradually genuine goals of Mr. Marcinkevičius actions became apparent – withdraw from the group and sale of shares in order to continue independently develop competing businesses. Later Mr. Marcinkevičius publicly confirmed such intentions to Lithuanian media.

Accusations and delayed response

Firstly, when accusations appeared in the media, they severely lacked specificity. The group companies were accused of an unprecedented crime: the theft of around 200 million Euros in taxes; however, this statement was based solely on the personal reputation of minority shareholder Mr. Marcinkevičius and, according to the assessment of the group of companies, on diagrams reflecting regular activity operations.

Secondly, the relationships between the companies that are located all over Europe are diverse: some of them work closely and are informed about one another's activity; others are not even aware of one another's existence. This situation made prompt reaction to information appearing in the media very difficult.

Thirdly, transactions mentioned in Mr. Marcinkevičius’ accusations are bound by numerous laws of various jurisdictions, special regulations of holdings and companies, and business management decisions characteristic of companies engaging in wide-spread activities. Such circumstances obstructed timely and appropriate defense by the group companies.

Therefore, to inform the press, the public, investors in Lithuania and abroad, also state officials and politicians as completely, clearly and openly as possible, the largest shareholder in the group Mr. Nerijus Numavičius assembled a coordination group. The group comprise of representatives of companies mentioned in the accusations.

Individual companies managed by Mr. Numavičius and other shareholders will continue to comment on their activities independently.

About Nerijus Numavičius

Nerijus Numavičius is the largest shareholder of ‘Vilniaus prekyba’ and other affiliated companies.