Lithuanian businessman Mindaugas Marcinkevičius, a minority shareholder in the company that operates the country's biggest grocery chain Maxima, is to go to the Luxembourg courts to contest a €90-million loan at below-market interest rates that the company extended to Luxembourg-registered businesses owned by another shareholder.
Mindaugas Marcinkevičius
© DELFI / Audrius Solominas

Leksita (formerly Vilniaus Prekyba) extended a credit line to Carson, which runs loss-making supermarket chains Cashdiplo and Supersol in Spain, last April. Marcinkevičius, who owns a 7.87% stake in Leksita, contested the deal with Vilnius District Court, which refused to hear the case, saying Marcinkevičius must bring it before Luxembourg courts.

Marcinkevičius told BNS he would file a suit in Luxembourg, but would also continue litigation over damages in Lithuania.

"Litigation in Lithuania continues over damage compensation with Leksita board members who loaned the company's assets at below-market interest rates to a failing company owned by another shareholder. The deals themselves will have to be contested in Luxembourg, not Lithhuania. We accepts this definition of jurisdiction, and there should be no problem to transfer parts of the suit to Luxembourg," Marcinkevičius told BNS.

A public quarrel between Marcinkevičius and other shareholders of Vilniaus Prekyba - which, in addition to the Maxima chain, operates Akropolis shopping malls in Lithuania - erupted last summer. Marcinkevičius accused the group and its majority shareholder Nerijus Numavičius of "aggressive tax planning" and of building a Byzantine corporate structure of holdings in an attempt to cheat other shareholders out of the group's assets.

Vilniaus Prekyba has rejected accusations of tax evasion, saying that Marcinkevičius is using the scandal to negotiate a better deal for his share in the group.

BNS
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