Friday, January 24, 2020

Russia's "Fish King" 'Vitaly Orlov Faces Possible Loss Of Billionaire Status'

From Forbes, January 23:

Fishy Business: Russian Tycoon Vitaly Orlov Faces Possible Loss Of Billionaire Status As London Court Battle Nears Its End
Billionaire Vitaly Orlov faces losing a large chunk of his fishing empire in the long-running battle with cofounder, former business partner and university friend Alexander Tugushev.
Orlov, dubbed the oligarch “fish king” by the Times newspaper, was dealt a double blow this month that could see him lose up to a third of his $1 billion asset. A court in Murmansk, Russia dismissed the tycoon’s claim that his motherland, not London, had jurisdiction over the dispute, and the third cofounder came out in support of the claim against him.

This latest battle over Russian business in a London court concerns a dispute between founders Orlov and Tugushev over a stake in Norebo, an international fishing business worth $1.5 billion, according to according to the claim presented by Tugushev in the U.K.’s High Court of Justice. The company catches and sells 400,000 tons of cod, haddock and pollock a year and is best known as a leading supplier to frozen foods company Birds Eye and to McDonald’s, producer of the enduring Filet-o-Fish sandwich.

In a statement sent to Forbes this week, Tugushev’s representatives said they are now confident that settlement discussions are “more likely” following the recent developments.
However, a spokesperson for Vitaly Orlov told Forbes that Tugushev’s claims remain “absolute rubbish”, later adding that, “Mr Tugushev’s claim is without foundation, and Mr Orlov’s defence is both extensive and persuasive. Tugushev’s claim will be defended vigorously and robustly."

The Case
The case circles Tugushev’s claim that his approximate 25% interest–valued by Tugushev at a “minimum value” of $350million –in the company is not being recognized and alleges that he is “the victim” of a “complex and sophisticated conspiracy” over attempts to remove him from the company.
The case will be heard in London after claims by Tugushev that the “fish king” resides in the U.K.; Orlov denies being “domiciled” in England and said previously that the trial is “an attempt by a Russian to bring unfounded claims against another Russian in relation to Russian assets” and should be heard in Russia, preferably in his hometown....[by his mom]

Let that be a lesson to all oligarch wannabes, make sure the lawyers mark the 'non-resident' box when buying the London hidey-hole.