The actions of the founder, co-owner and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of “Alpha-Groups” Michael Friedman, which is one of the richest (about $15 billion) of businessmen of both Russia and Britain, the Spanish Prosecutor’s office called the raider, and felt that they led to the bankruptcy of Spanish IT company Zed WorldWide (ZWW).
According to The Financial Times, citing the National court of Spain, in the documents of Prosecutor Jose Grinda Gonzalez says that in the Russian criminal circles the word “raider” means “the theft of business by violence and murder, or through economic pressure.”
According to investigators, in 2016, Friedman tried to buy IT company at a price of 20 million euros, lower than its market value. This billionaire has developed a strategy that involves economic pressure on the firm cites an article in an American newspaper edition “Radio Freedom”. In addition, the Prosecutor believes that Friedman used “violence, intimidation or deception” in order to reduce the price of Zed WorldWide.
According to the Prosecutor, Friedman used the Zed WorldWide contract with Vimpelcom (now VEON) to achieve purchasing it at a significantly lower price. This contract brought ZWW more than 40% of revenue. Then the businessman has played a “fundamental role” in the bankruptcy ZWW – through “of control as one of the creditors” (it is controlled by the “Alfa-Bank” Amsterdam Trade Bank, a participant in the syndicated loan attracted earlier ZWW).
Billionaire denies all charges, claiming that he was not trying to buy IT-the company and controlled organizations, which allegedly violated the law.
In September, judge Manuel Garcia Castellon decided that there is evidence confirming Friedman’s control over people and organizations that caused damage to Zed WorldWide. The representative of the businessman told the newspaper that referred to a judge of the facts “not proven.”
Hear the testimony of Friedman was on 7 October, however, as the health of the billionaire, and his statement in court was postponed to October 21. In mid-September the Spanish office of public Prosecutor insisted on questioning of Friedman, because the Agency wants to reserve the right to ask the court about the arrest of the businessman or of the pledge.
That Friedman was summoned for questioning in the case of Zed WorldWide, it became known in early August. According to the version of the Spanish authorities, the mobile operator VimpelCom, which is controlled by the entrepreneur, changed the contracts with the Russian “daughter” of the Zed, and the Spanish company has lost revenue. These contracts brought Zed WorldWide so much money that the company began planning an offering on NASDAQ and took a loan of 140 million euros, and part of these loans were granted by the Bank, which is controlled by Friedman.
Spanish prosecutors said that just four months after the Zed in June 2016 filed for bankruptcy, Friedman came out with a proposal to buy a business, but the deal ultimately did not take place.