Earlier, a notary refused to sign off on a deal that would transfer the shares of Heesen Yachts’ owner, Russian oligarch Vagit Alekperov, to a Dutch foundation. However, after changes were made to the proposal, it was approved, meaning the yacht builder is now back in Dutch hands.
With EU sanctions looming for Alekperov and Heesen already suffering in terms of getting supplies after the Russian oligarch was placed on the UK sanctions list, the company was rapidly trying to sever its Russian ties. The successful yacht builder even feared to go bankrupt, should Alekperov be added to the EU list.
To protect the company and its 1000 employees, it tried to place the Russian’s shares in a Dutch foundation. Initially, the notary involved did not want to facilitate this. She said the move could be interpreted as a way to evade possible EU sanctions and as such, she was unable to make the deal happen. Heesen hoped that the notary would take into consideration the risk of bankruptcy and even took her to court to change her decision. The judge, however, sided with the notary.
Yesterday (19 May), the employees were told the deal had come through after all. Different Dutch media say ambiguities of the earlier proposal were removed so that a notary was now willing to cooperate in the transfer. The shares of the Russian owner have now been sold to a foundation, which is governed by Dutch board members of Heesen Yachts.
Dutch news site Omroep Brabant reports that it is unclear how much the Russian received for his shares in the Oss-based company. The former Russian owner did cooperate in the share sale from the beginning.
Picture by Heesen Yachts.