RBC appeals court decision on Rosneft’s claim
Moscow, January 19, 2017 - RBC OJSC (Moscow exchange: RBCM) informs that on January 19, 2017, RBC group of companies filed an appeal against the Moscow Arbitration Court’s decision regarding Rosneft’s claim.
RBC intends to nullify the trial court’s decision as it considers the claimed defamatory nature of the article Sechin seeks governmental protection for Rosneft from BP unsubstantiated, and the reputational damage nonexistent.
The article titled “Sechin seeks governmental protection for Rosneft from BP” focused on preparations for the privatization of 19.5% of Rosneft, mentioning the fact that BP might acquire a blocking stake in the company as a result. Rosneft’s president Igor Sechin warned Russian policymakers of the possible risks, so the government hired Intesa bank as a consultant in the deal. Finally, the privatization process was complete and treated as a success by experts as well as high-ranking government officials. Rosneft’s actions were compliant with international practice of protecting state interests.
In order to clarify the circumstances related to the information published in the article, RBC will ask the appeal court to request information received from the government of the Russian Federation, Intesa bank, and BP during the privatization of Rosneft shares.
“RBC to pay 8 thousand times less than the original claim by Rosneft: trial court ruling.” It means that from now on the sides can debate the level of professional responsibility, rather than “the price of absurdity.” RBC journalists wrote the material based on information they received from three sources (in compliance with RBC’s editorial standards). RBC editors who published this article were guided by RBC’s concept — important news about business and for business. We have studied the actions of our editorial staff in the preparation of this article and we have confirmation that it contains strictly factual information. We would like to understand how the situation would change if expert estimates and information obtained in the course of the deal are taken into account by the appeal court,” continues Nikolay Molibog.
The Ninth Arbitration Court of Appeal will consider RBC’s appeal within the period of two months from the current date, as the law requires.
On December 12, 2016, the Moscow Arbitration Court ruled to partially satisfy Rosneft’s claim, ordering RBC group of companies and journalists Timofei Dzyadko, Maxim Tovkaylo, and Lyudmila Podobedova to pay Rosneft RUB 390,000. The court also ruled to remove the article titled “Sechin seeks governmental protection for Rosneft from BP”, which became the subject of the lawsuit, and to publish a retraction.