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VTB can move ahead with Vozrozhdenie purchase as court unfreezes owners' assets

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VTB can move ahead with Vozrozhdenie purchase as court unfreezes owners' assets

The London High Court unfroze assets owned by Russian businessmen Dmitry and Aleksey Ananiev, including a stake in Vozrozhdenie Bank, opening the way for VTB Bank PJSC to finalize the acquisition of the lender, Vedomosti reported.

A VTB representative reportedly told the newspaper that the state-owned bank is analyzing the court documents and continues to negotiate the purchase of Vozrozhdenie.

The asset freeze, imposed in July at the request of investors holding bonds guaranteed by the Ananiev brothers, prevented VTB from closing the transaction, the newspaper noted. VTB Bank CEO Andrey Kostin said at the time that negotiations for the purchase of Vozrozhdenie were in advanced stages, but the deal could go forward only after all legal issues have been resolved.

The Russian central bank requested the Ananiev brothers sell their controlling stake in Vozrozhdenie following the 2017 bailout of PAO Promsvyazbank, also controlled by the businessmen. VTB confirmed its interest in acquiring Vozrozhdenie in June, saying that the transaction could be completed in the third quarter of 2018.