Will Tsarukyan Pay German Firm the $600,000 It’s Owed?
by Kristine Aghalaryan
August 4, 2011
The Anikom real estate appraisers have looked at the books of Gagik Tsarukyan’s company – Yerevan Ararat Brandy, Wine and Vodka (YABWV).
Anikom has found that the Armenian MP/business mogul should have paid the German portfolio investment firm Ostinvestor $600,000 in a controversial 2008 consolidation stock takeover.
So infuriated was the German company that Ostinvestor Director Stefan Laxhauber took Tsarukyan to court in 2010.
Mr. Laxhauber has always maintained that Tsarukyan’s company cooked the books and artificially undervalued its assets in order to lower the market price of its shares and thus pay less to the small shareholders.
Back in 2006, “Ostinvestor” purchased 1,520 shares of YBVW, 3.2% of the company’s outstanding shares, on the Armenian stock market.
In June, 2008, the German firm received a note from the principal shareholder of YABWV, demanding that it sell all its shares since MultiGroup wasn’t prepared to recognize the “Ostinvestor” holdings. The German firm refused to sell given that it had used its investors’ money to buy the shares with.
In the end, at a special October 12, 2008, stockholders’ meeting it was decided to consolidate the shares of YABWV by issuing one new share for each 2363.5 held at a valuation of 18,908,000 Armenian drams* (approximately 45.212 Euros.) Given that “Ostinvestor” only held 1,520 shares and one new share was to be the equivalent of 2,363.5 shares, the German firm wasn’t able to secure even one share of the new stock issue.
To make a long story short, the financial audits now show that YABWV management undervalued the company’s capital by 6 billion AMD.
Stefan Laxhauber has said that he would like to think that Tsarukyan had no knowledge of the financial shenanigans taking place in YABWV.
“Hopefully, it was the management that was responsible. Otherwise, Mr. Tsarukyan, who is held up as a charitable benefactor, must at least explain why he doesn’t want to pay off what’s coming to the small investors.”