A company spokesperson told Drinks International: “Our accounts are blocked and exports are temporarily banned. Our lawyers will solve this and we hope we will work in a normal way very soon.”
According to reports, the company’s Moscow office has been occupied by two shareholders, and a third was denied access. On August 23, the company announced that, as a result of the dispute, it was stopping sales to Russia.
According to Moskovskiye Novosti, chairman of the board and company founder Alexander Glus who controls 25% of the distiller, claims that two fellow shareholders have left him with no choice but to abandon the Russian market.
Yakov Gribov (40%) and Anatoly Kipish (34.96%) have taken over the company’s Moscow office. The pair are said to wants to transfer part of the company’s production to Russia.
Hitherto, the vodka producer had exported 35% of its stock to Russia. Reports suggest it has seen its market share fall from 32 to 26% this year.
Rustam Tariko’s Russky Standart or Russian Standard, was believed to be buying Nemiroff but the deal fell through.
Glus claims he was offered $350 million plus bonuses for a 100% stake in the company, but his colleagues demanded a further $20 million to complete the deal.
Gribov apparently told Moskovskiye Novosti that he was unhappy with the valuation of the company and he and Kipish were concerned about the structure of the deal.
When the Russky Standart deal collapsed, Gribov and Kipish decided to develop the business, but ran into trouble over putting together a management team.
There is also said to be a ruling by a Cypriot court which bans the pair from making strategic decisions on the company’s future.
Due to the boardroom clash, production in Ukrainian plants apparently stopped from mid-May to early June. According to Glus, the company has lost about $12.5m due to the shutdown.
The report says other shareholders have 74.96% of the shares, less than the 75% needed to gain total control of the company.