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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

PPF Files Claim Over Ingosstrakh

LONDON -- A standoff in the boardroom of Ingosstrakh, the country's No. 2 insurer, escalated Wednesday after private equity group PPF Investments said it would fight a move to slash its stake in the firm "by every legal means."

PPF, whose investors include Czech billionaire Petr Kellner, said late Tuesday that it had filed a complaint with the Federal Financial Markets Service against Ingosstrakh, which is controlled by Oleg Deripaska's Basic Element.

A spokeswoman for the markets service confirmed that on Wednesday.

PPF is claiming that Ingosstrakh's shareholders illegally decided to quadruple the company's authorized capital to 10 billion rubles ($402 million) on Oct. 8 at a meeting where PPF's votes were ignored. If the decision were carried out, PPF's stake would be diluted from 38.5 percent to about 10 percent.

"If the officially and clearly expressed rejections [of PPF] against the proposal to increase Ingosstrakh's registered capital [had] been properly counted in, the proposal could have never been approved," PPF spokesman Jan Piskacek said.

To maintain their stakes in Ingosstrakh, shareholders would have to quadruple their investment, which PPF is not prepared to do, Piskacek said.

Earlier this week, Ingosstrakh chairman Vyacheslav Shcherbakov denied PPF's claim. "The [shareholders'] meeting happened without breaking the law, and all shareholders were given the chance to participate," he said Monday.