Smart-Holding, the principal owner of Amstor Group, applied to the law-enforcement authorities with the request to give a legal evaluation to the actions of Amstor’s ex-managers, Vladimir and Alexandr Vagorovskiy, who used the company’s funds to acquire securities to the amount of UAH 15 million, while the retail chain started accumulating debt to its suppliers.
In March 2014, the Vagorovskiys made an arbitrary decision to transfer UAH 15 million from Amstor’s accounts to Lancelot LLC to acquire investment certificates. This transaction was not authorized by the retail chain owners.
Apart from the fact that this transaction was absolutely uncharacteristic for the retailer, payment for the certificates was effected at the time when the company stopped paying back its loans and started accumulating a multi-million debt to its suppliers.
The location of the securities currently remains unknown. Smart-Holding believes that the aim of this transaction was to withdraw money from the company to get an unlawful gain.
It is to be recalled that on 31 December 2014, armed men blocked the work of a number of Amstor’s stores in Kiev, Zaporozhye, Dnepropetrovsk, Mariupol and other cities. Police arrived to the sites, the work of the supermarkets was recovered, but not for long. Today, the majority of Amstor chain’s stores are not operating.
Smart-Holding, the main shareholder of Amstor, reported that armed men who blocked the stores, were acting on the orders of the retailer’s former manager and minority shareholder Vladimir Vagorovskiy. The ex-manager did not agree with the decision of the principal owners to dismiss him from the management of Amstor Group and is doing everything to destabilize the work of the shopping centres and hide the volumes of his embezzlement. The results of the audit conducted by the main shareholder, revealed Vagorovskiy’s attempts to misappropriate the company, as well as to steal funds for his personal enrichment.
The Vagorovskiys currently control the stores located in the territory of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and no proceeds from those stores are transferred to the Amstor Group accounts.
Gelabran Real Estate, the shareholder who was one of the founders of Amstor Group (included in the sphere of influence of Eduard Shifrin and Aleksandr Schneider), supported the main shareholder of the group, Smart-Holding, in its efforts to stabilize the work of Amstor retail chain throughout Ukraine. The Company’s statement ran as follows: ‘We condemn the actions of the minority shareholder Vladimir Vagorovskiy and former management represented by Aleksandr Vagorovskiy that led to suspension of the stores’ operation’.
In 2009, Shifrin and Schneider, the majority shareholders of Amstor Group, sold part of their stake to companies associated with Smart-Holding. Their share decreased from 60 to 15%. Smart-Holding became the main shareholder of the retail chain with a 70% stake. Part of the shares was acquired from the minority shareholder of Amstor Group, Vladimir Vagorovskiy. His share in the company decreased from 40 to 15%. According to the shareholders’ decision, until recently Aleksandr and Vladimir Vagorovskiy were engaged in operational management of the retail chain.