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American businessman can become head of YUKOS company

Chairman of YUKOS company (whose CEO Khodorkovsky and Lebedev are awaiting for legal hearing on the charges of fraud and tax evasion) Semen Kukes has agreed to meet minor shareholder, American Boris Iordan (see the photo) who had offered himself as an  intermediary in settling the conflict between YUKOS and the state.
Mr. Kukes wrote in his letter that the management of YUKOS company was ready to discuss Mr. Iordan’s plan “to find the solution bringing maximum benefits to the minor shareholders”, RIA-Novosti reported.

The spokesman of Sputnik group (which comprises YUKOS minor shareholders and whose President is Boris Iordan) Oleg Sapozhnikov said in a Kommersant interview that Mr. Kukes would meet with Mr. Iordan within several days. However, the Kommersant reported that a number of investment foundations had rejected the request of Boris Iordan to delegate him the authorities of the minor shareholders representatives. In particular, co-founder of US foundation “Firebird” Ian Heig said in a Kommersant interview that he was not going to support the offers of Mr. Iordan”.

Last week Mr. Iordan sent a letter to YUKOS minor shareholders with his offers of being an intermediary in “the negotiations with the state authorities on settling the conflict between YUKOS and the state, but Mr. Iordan requested changing the company CEOs as the primary condition for his plan, RusEnergy reported.

Mr. Iordan wrote in his letter that the current management of YUKOS “appointed by the company major shareholders, represents their interests at the expense of the overall company and all the rest of the shareholders”. He is offering to “request Sputnik group to start on behalf of all the minor shareholders of YUKOS, immediate negotiations on settling the conflict which poses a threat of bankruptcy for YUKOS”.

According to Boris Iordan, the agreement between YUKOS and the state should be based on the following principles: YUKOS is an operating corporation and no damages can be done to him; YUKOS  can pay his creditors in full in accordance with the reasonable schedule of debt payments; YUKOS must and can pay taxes in full if the taxes are calculated in accordance with the law; the minor shareholders should be represented on the board; the opportunity of changing the company CEOs must be considered.

Mr. Iordan said that he “was discussing the “YUKOS case” with Russian authorities with Russian authorities and received some assurance from the government that there is much interest in economically rational and fair solution of the conflict… The government is looking for a credible party to negotiate with on the issue".

Initially, YUKOS CEOs rejected the offer of Mr. Iordan and said that the current company management was able to settle its conflict with the Tax Ministry which requested the company to pay more than 99 billion roubles ($3.5 billion) of taxes and fines.  Mr. Kukes said that if the Tax ministry won the legal case, YUKOS shareholders would have to sell a part of their assets and cut the investments into developing production. However, YUKOS shareholders have lack of funds as the company bank accounts have been arrested.

In the end of last week YUKOS CEOs submitted a letter to Russian Prime minister Mikhauil Fradkov. They asked the government to restructure YUKOS tax debt, and release the company assets from the arrest for this purpose. On June 17 Russian President Vladimir Putin said the government was not interested in YUKOS going bankrupt, and would try not to allow the company’s collapse.

Source: Russian media