Better to be prepared before ‘raider seizure’ can strike
By Veniamin Levitsky
The Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee for Industry, Fuel and Energy, Transport, Communications and Entrepreneurship, Sergey Semashko, has announced a new law governing bankruptcy, which will include measures to protect against ‘raider seizure’ of assets (widely used to gain control over others’ property).
Victor Vintskevich, the Chairman of the Council of the Belarusian Public Association of Specialists on Anti-Crisis Management and Bankruptcy, notes, “I’ve been working as an anti-crisis manager for nine years and have never faced a situation where assets have been seized. I don’t think that this is usual in Belarus, as our enterprises and businesses aren’t rich enough to be targeted.”
Honoured Lawyer of Belarus, International Finance Corporation advisor Valery Fadeev, tells us, “No doubt, the problem of ‘raider seizure’ is topical for Belarus, as we live in a global economy. Neighbouring Russia sees cases where bailiffs may be hired to seize property during bankruptcy. Such practices aren’t common here yet, but this does not mean that we lack raiders’ attacks.”
According to Mr. Fadeev, cases when company heads conclude knowingly unprofitable contracts, augment credit debts and then sell out a property to a new owner at a lower price — as part of a procedure of bankruptcy — occur in Belarus. Such ‘raider seizure’ can take other forms, with raiders gaining confidential information — such as registers of shareholders. They then ‘process’ these, buying securities at low prices.
Mr. Fadeev adds, “It’s easy to fish in troubled waters so, to successfully counteract raider attacks, we need clear and transparent legislation, alongside transparent conditions for business activity. Market mechanisms are vital on the stock market, to ensure objective assessment of the value of property and securities. Of course, shareholders must take responsibility for their financial and legal literacy, to avoid ‘raider seizure’.”