Nerijus Numavičius’ attorney: seizure of VP Group shares – an attempt to get a ‘tranquillity fee’
Minority shareholder of the VP Group Mindaugas Marcinkevičius has managed to achieve that the court seizer over 30 per cent of the VP Group shares held by Mr. Nerijus Numavičius.
The press release issued by M. Marcinkevičius states that Vilnius Regional Court passed the decision on Wednesday. This is only the beginning of one of the largest judicial disputes in the history of the VP Group. Claiming that Mr. N. Numavičius had misappropriated the VP Group shares of high value, M. Marcinkevičius is seeking restitution in connection with these transactions.
Representatives of Mr. N. Numavičius respond that Mr. M. Marcinkevičius has allegedly told only partial truth about the judicial proceedings and that he is first and foremost seeking to receive a ‘tranquillity fee’ from his former business partner by way of his actions.
Trouble to Mr. N. Numavičius
The court judgment implies that at present Mr. N. Numavičius is unable to freely dispose of a major proportion of his shares.
“I have no doubts that after this relatively primitive simulated transaction scheme is proven, we will restore the damage caused not only to the shareholders, but to the state as well. Let us hope that this property is still within the reach of the European court system and has not been hidden across islands and tropical states that are not subject to any authorities”, – Mr. M. Marcinkevičius has been quoted in the press release.
Following its ruling, the court prohibited Mr. N. Numavičius and his affiliated companies from ‘performing all and any actions’ in connection with the seized shares. Any decisions regarding the disposal of this property currently can be taken by the wealthiest person in Lithuania only with a court’s authorisation. Mr. N. Numavičius may still appeal against the said court ruling and this is highly likely to happen.
This is a new pinnacle in one of the largest business conflicts in the Lithuanian history. Mr. M. Marcinkevičius was the one to start talking about high value tax evasion in the VP Group and suspicious transactions with the companies within the group. N. Numavičius has rejected all of those claims. At the same time, Vilniaus prekyba brought Mr. M. Marcinkevičius to court for his allegations. On Wednesday, Mr. N. Numavičius and other three shareholders Vladas Numavičius, Ignas Staškevičius and Mindaugas Bagdonavičius joined the company’s lawsuit.
Translators to receive work
It is true though that the seizure of shares should not be too sweet to Mr. M. Marcinkevičius either because the court upheld the request made by the party on Mr. N. Numavičius side which is likely to require much time and money.
Because some of the defendants are legal persons registered abroad, the court had received a request to have the case file translated into the official languages of those countries (for instance, Estonia or Cyprus).
The court upheld the mentioned request. Hence, Mr. M. Marcinkevičius is likely to have to splash out on translation services.
The businessman himself sees the request of his former partners in connection with the translation of lawsuit into foreign languages as a delay in the proceedings.
“Although the lawsuit proceedings are clearly attempted to be delayed for the period when emotional interviews are to be commissioned in the press, these tricks did not, however, had an impact on the court”, – Mr. M. Marcinkevičius said to the 15min.lt.
N. Numavičius’ side: M. Marcinkevičius is misleading the public
Advocate Olga Petroševičienė who represents N. Numavičius has relayed the view of the wealthiest man in the country in connection with the seizure of shares to the 15min.lt . Firstly, she notes that Mr. M. Marcinkevičius has allegedly kept the fact that the lawsuit in connection with the transactions on the transfer of shares was not accepted by the court secret.
“Mr. M. Marcinkevičius has intentionally kept the fact that the court did not accept the claim, whereby it was misleadingly stated that the interests of Vilniaus prekyba shareholders had been violated, secret. Following the mentioned ruling, the court upheld the request made by Mr. Vladas Numavičius for returning the lawsuit due to material defects therein”, – says Mrs. O. Petroševičienė.
“M. Marcinkevičius has intentionally kept the fact that the court did not accept the claim, whereby it was misleadingly stated that the interests of Vilniaus prekyba shareholders had been violated, secret. Following the mentioned ruling, the court upheld the request made by Mr. Vladas Numavičius for returning the lawsuit due to material defects therein.
According to the words of N. Numavičius’ representative, the seizure of shares will not have a major impact on the management of the business empire. Nonetheless, the wealthiest man in the country will definitely be seeking for the seizure to be annulled.
“The interim measure was imposed on a minor proportion of shares in non-fundamental companies, such as Vilniaus prekyba. As a result, the interim measures imposed on the shares held by Mr. N. Numavičius will not have any impact whatsoever on the ordinary activities of the companies. All companies within the group carry their business as usual.
Thirdly, we note that under the laws of the Republic of Lithuania the purpose of any interim measures is not declaring a certain violation, but securing the execution of a future court judgment should a violation of rights be declared. This is a standard stage of the proceedings which is far from proving the fault of either side. Certainly, the seizure imposed on the shares held by Mr. N. Numavičius will definitely be appealed as usual”, – continues Mrs. O. Petroševičienė.
The advocate gives her arguments against M. Marcinkevičius’ allegation that the proceedings are attempted to be delayed by requesting to have the lawsuit translated into a few different languages. Translations, as she says, are not a perversity of Mr. N. Numavičius’ representatives, but a European legal requirement.
“As to the accusations in connection with the translation of the case file into the official languages of foreign states, we can only respond with legal arguments: Mr. M. Marcinkevičius has brought lawsuits not only against the shareholders of Vilniaus prekyba and its affiliated companies, but also against individual companies within the business group. Because lawsuits have been brought against companies registered abroad, following the applicable EU legislation, any documents intended for the companies established abroad must be provided in their local language”, – claims Mrs. O. Petroševičienė.
The advocate underlines that Mr. N. Numavičius treats the activities of Mr. M. Marcinkevičius as an attempt to get a desired sum of cash for leaving the VP Group.
“Mr. M. Marcinkevičius is attempting to receive a ‘tranquillity fee’ by way of his actions”. According to Mr. N. Numavičius, he has never paid such a fee and has no intention to do so”, – sums up Mrs. O. Petroševičienė.