Saturday, 14 December

German Investor Tells Tsarukyan to “Come Clean”; Says He’ll Take Him to European Court

The following was sent by Stefan Laxhuber, CEO of the German company “Eastinvestor”. Laxhuber has accused Gagik Tsarukyan, a prominent Armenian businessman and leader of the Propsoerous Armenia Party of swindling his company out of shares it owned in the “Yerevan Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory owned by Tsarukyan. 

Laxhauber had sent the following as a comment to the Hetq March 12 article “Why Armenia's Gagik Tsarukyan Will Never Be Georgia's Bidzina Ivanishvili”. Hetq has decided to print it separately as well. 

Dear Mr. Tsarukyan,

You have given quite an interesting speech on February 15, 2014 during the 7th general meeting of the “Prosperous Armenia” party.

 In particular, I would like to quote the following three points from your speech:

1. Foreign investments have decreased in Armenia by more than 40%. This means that capital is avoiding our country and goes to other countries contributing to the welfare of other nations and people.

 2. I am willing to meet our wealthy and successful business compatriots around the world, ask and persuade them to come and invest in Armenia, to start business in Armenia. But I know that all of them will ask me the same question: whether guarantees and favorable conditions are present.

 3. I have never had an eye on someone else’s property, nor have I ever sought positions. Now, I am going to articulate my questions and I expect sincere answers.

First of all, I want to remind that I am the CEO of the German company “Eastinvestor”, which was the owner of 3% shares of the “Yerevan ‘Ararat’ brandy-wine-vodka factory” Closed Joint Stock Company (hereinafter: “the Brandy factory”).

When comparing the balance sheets of the Brandy factory as of January 1, 2008 and October 12, 2008, it becomes clear that the company’s equity was AMD 7,704,714,000 at the be-ginning of the year, which then decreased to AMD 812,652,000 (a reduction of AMD 6,892,062,000).

Consequently, small shares were consolidated and the compensation paya-ble against them was calculated based on the value of AMD 812,652,000. Our company was offered to take around AMD 24mln, while only based on the balance sheet you should have suggested AMD 231mln (even though we have paid more than that when buying the 3% shares). Not to mention that under the laws of the Republic of Armenia, it should have been calculated based on the market price of the shares, which is a much higher value.

Our company did not manage to succeed in court, despite the fact that the experts appointed by the court have identified a USD 5mln deviation on property evaluation alone.

Anyway, we will soon apply to the European Court of Human Rights and believe that justice will be re-stored. I’ve made these points only as a reminder. Now to the questions: 1. If you believe that foreign investments are so important for the country, why didn’t you treat our investments according to the requirements of the law. 2. Do you really think that the value of a huge factory that is located in the center of Yerevan and has historical significance was AMD 812,652,000 in October 2008? 3. If you expect guarantees and favorable conditions in order to attract investments to the country, why don’t you take steps towards that end? And why did you pressure the courts over our case?

Suffice it to recall that Mr. Arayik Melkumyan, the judge of the first instance court, after retiring to determine the verdict, unreasonably re-opened the investigation of the case several times, because he couldn’t define himself and as a result artificially delayed our case for a few years. 4. If you don’t have an eye on our company’s property, then why don’t you pay a fair compensation against our shares? Why did you have to reduce the value of the shares in such an artificial and ridiculous manner?

Last but not least, if you are a true patriot and your words really do come from your heart in-stead of resulting from some political farce, I hereby suggest that you compensate and refund our investments on a fair basis. It is with regret that I must state that after learning about my case, many of my European partners will not make investments in Armenia. Prove to us that Armenia is the right country to invest in.

We look forward to getting your response.

Best regards,

Stefan Laxhuber

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