Rosneft Settles Lawsuits With Managers of Dismantled Yukos Oil

OAO Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil producer, has settled lawsuits with Dutch foundations representing former shareholders of Yukos Oil Co., the company dismantled after its owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky was imprisoned.

“All litigation between Yukos and Rosneft in all jurisdictions will cease,” Claire Davidson, a London-based spokeswoman for Yukos, said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday. “This is not a financial settlement. It provides certainty of ownership of important structures and assets for the Dutch entities run by the former Yukos management.”

Both sides dropped any current or future claims, Rosneft said in a statement on its website. While the settlement doesn’t involve any payments, it paves the way for former Yukos managers to gain access to assets held outside Russia. The Dutch foundations had claims of as much as $2.5 billion, the Financial Times reported Jan. 12, 2014, citing Bruce Misamore, former Yukos chief financial officer.

Rosneft shares rose 3.4 percent to 260.75 rubles as of 4:07 p.m. in Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government dismantled Yukos, once Russia’s biggest crude exporter, after imposing more than $30 billion in tax charges. State-run Rosneft became the nation’s largest oil company by acquiring most of bankrupt Yukos’s assets for $27 billion in 2006 after a series of forced auctions. Former billionaire Khodorkovsky was freed in 2013 after spending a decade in a Russian jail.

The settlement doesn’t cover Yukos litigation against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights, which resulted in a $1.8 billion decision against Russia in July, Davidson said. Arbitration against Russia under the Energy Charter Treaty will continue, as will litigation involving Promneftstroy.

Cash proceeds from past litigation aren’t affected by the settlement, according to Davidson.

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