The investment company obtains a business centre in Moscow

Kommersant 3 July 2019

The conflict between shareholders of CineLab Group, specializing in film making and screening services, and А1 investment company, a member of Alfa Group, is closed. The result is that А1 acquired Alliance at Elektrozavodskaya business centre in Moscow with an area of 12.5 thousand sq m, which may cost up to 1 bln rubles.

CineLab Group made a settlement agreement with А1 investment company, a member of Alfa Group. As reported to Kommersant by А1, consequently, the company obtained Alliance at Elektrozavodskaya business centre with an area of 12.5 thousand sq m in the Preobrazhenskoye District of Moscow. CineLab gained River City complex with an area of 12.4 thousand and 3.2 thousand sq m of the office premises in a mansion on Tikhvinskaya Street.

CineLab manages film studios engaged in renting of lighting and operator equipment, post-production and delivery of film copies to cinemas. The company was founded in 2001 by Dmitry Buravlev, Igor Rtishchev, Sergey Razin and Aleksandr Maryagin. In 2014, after Mr. Buravlev died, a conflict developed within the group. Three founders of CineLab refused to include the entrepreneur’s heirs in the number of the group co-owners and delayed payment of the cost of the share attracted by the heirs of Mr. Buravlev to protect their interests, А1 said. In 2017–2018, А1 won 12 actions against the structures of CineLab, amounting to a total of about 750 bln rubles.

Within the framework of the settlement agreement, CineLab shall pay the heirs a compensation, the amount of which is not disclosed by А1. Vasily Malinin, head of the commercial disputes practice at Rustam Kurmaev and Partners, states, with reference to litigation practice, that the compensation within the framework of the settlement agreement will certainly be lower than the amount which might be enforced by action.

Dmitry Pavlov, a partner of А1, says that the lawyers defended the rights of Dmitry Buravlev’s heirs to the extent to which they had expected. CineLab also indicated that they were satisfied with the terms of the agreement. Settlement of the dispute will enable the group to implement the projects interrupted by the corporate conflict, А1 quoted Aleksandr Maryagin in its report.

Pavel Ikkert, a partner of NAFCO law firm, assumes that the heirs assigned a significant part of claims to the investment company. He considers the business centre a liquid asset, especially in view of the increasing interest of А1 in real estate. It is more than likely that the building will remain with the company, and А1 may offer the heirs a compensation of the asset cost, taking into account the premises lease income, the lawyer speculates.

But Stanislav Bibik, a partner of Colliers International, describes Alliance as the least appealing among all the three facilities of CineLab. According to him, the value of that business centre can be put at 70–80 thousand rubles per 1 sq m, while River City can roughly cost 100–120 thousand rubles, and the mansion at Tikhvinskiy Lane — 180–200 thousand rubles per 1 sq m. Igor Roganovich, Director of the Financial Markets And Investment Department at Knight Frank, adds that Alliance requires capital investment, as well. А1 announced that Alta-Plus, a structure of А1, will run Alliance at the initial stage, and the future fate of the facility will be jointly determined by the company and Dmitry Buravlev’s heirs.