Yukos (Russian Юкос, German Yukos ) was one of the major corporations of Russia for oil production and petrochemical industries and was also the world's largest non-governmental groups. After the arrest of the company founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 2003, the company ran into financial difficulties, which meant that Yukos was declared on 1 August 2006 by a Moscow court for bankruptcy.

The usual in international economic life Yukos English name is an acronym of the companies that were involved in the founding of Erdölkonzers, " Yuganskneftegaz " and " KuybyshevnefteOrgSintez " ( Юганскнефтегаз, КуйбышевнефтеОргСинтез; Juganskneftegas, KuibyschewnefteOrgSintes ).

The Company

Yukos was led in recent years by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a politically active billionaire. The company held the second place in the market up to Khodorkovsky's arrest in October 2003.

Due to the arrest and restrictive measures of the Kremlin, the Group has become internationally known, but fall in economic difficulties. Khodorkovsky was the manager as well as Platon Lebedev accused of tax crimes. Both were sentenced to long prison sentences. As real reasons be assumed that Khodorkovsky, one of Russia's " oligarchs", was proposed as a presidential candidate, or because the Russian government the Group ( as before ) wanted to bring in their sphere of influence. Also, President Putin had any adverse comment in support of educational institutions and mass media by Yukos. The reason for this is that the promotion of political pluralism and freedom of expression and media pluralism is not in accordance with the aspirations of Putin. In particular, the entry of U.S. investors in the Russian market by Yukos is assumed as a reason for government intervention.

Yukos was acquired as part of the great wave of privatizations after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in controversial circumstances from the Russian Government. The acquisition was made in a closed auction, which was organized by the co-founded by Khodorkovsky Bank Menatep, which then itself appeared as the only bidder. Menatep was previously grown in the years even to a wealthy private bank, since Khodorkovsky her as deputy oil and energy minister under Boris Yeltsin numerous orders for the administration of investment programs had sent. Later Yukos went to a group and international investors. Main shareholder was Khodorkovsky.

Western economists estimated the one hand, the flexibility and profitability of the Group, but also threw him a dubious policy towards the small shareholders ago. This should have improved from about 2001. In recent years, Yukos could show sales increases 30-104 percent and profit margins to 50 percent and became the stock exchange magnets, not only in Russia (2000: 9.8 billion U.S. dollars). It has invested heavily in the energy sector:

  • Participation in numerous regional energy companies such as Belgorod, Kuban and Tomskenergo
  • Joint venture with TotalFinaElf for the exploitation of an oil field in the Black Sea and the Hungarian MOL (2002)
  • Dating for a Bavarian refinery and a German service station network of Shell and BP, Aral, the sale of which dictated the Cartel, etc.
  • Purchase of 49 percent of the oil pipeline network operator TransPetrol from Slovakia
  • And other collaborations

The daily oil production from Yukos was about 1.7 million barrels, representing about 15 percent of Russia's total oil production.

In July 2006 the Chairman Steven Theede announced his retirement on August 1, 2006. He based this on the insolvency proceedings, which is a farce. According to Western observers, it was the aim of the Russian government, which owns 100 percent of the company together with the state oil company Rosneft, resolution and integration in Rosneft. On 1 August 2006, a Moscow court found the bankruptcy of the company and thus decided the dissolution of Yukos.

The " Yukos case "

In April 2003, Yukos agreed a merger with Sibneft, since June 2006, Gazprom Neft, which at this time the after sales approximately fifth largest company in Russia. The merger was omitted due to aftereffects of the arrest of Khodorkovsky. End of October 2003, the government froze 44 percent of the shares in order to prevent their acquisition by cooperating with Khodorkovsky group of investors.

Since then, the profitability of Yukos fell continuously, which was all the more striking by the strong growth of recent years. The price fell compared with the annual average of about 40 € up to 80 percent, which all Russian stock exchanges impaired. Beginning of 2004 there were rumors of insolvency, as well as the suspicion that the restrictions of bankruptcy and a cheap department by the state would serve.

On 31 May 2004, Moscow Arbitration Court declared for the merger with Sibneft certain additional emission of Yukos papers null and void, whereby the Group forfeited the right to 57.5 percent of Sibneft shares. The following June, Gazprom, the world's largest natural gas producer said that in the event of an auction to acquire Yukos assets.

On 29 June 2004, the tax arrears amounting to the equivalent of 2.8 billion euros were confirmed in court for the year 2000 and thus legally binding. Bailiff brought under the judgment of an enforcement proceedings. The company had to pay this amount until the end of August 2004, after which they are adopted. The tax liability for 2001 was likewise converted to 2.8 billion euros. Each demands were made roughly the same amount for 2002 and 2003. The company offered to make a payment of one billion euros in the adoption of the remainder. The Russian Finance Ministry insisted on the payment of the entire tax liability. This was followed by an enforcement method in which the tax authorities were in the ranking of creditors to funders and suppliers. At the direction of the bailiff of the four mining companies Yukos had to stop the sale of other assets with immediate effect. However, production, refining and sale of oil could be continued.

On December 19, 2004 Juganskneftegas was sold for seven billion euros to settle the tax debt of previous years. On Juganskneftegas accounted for about 60 percent of the total oil production of Yukos. Yukos managers had days earlier announced that it would sue the potential buyer before international courts. The Yukos managers had filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code of the United States in Houston, Texas. At the auction, in which esp. the Baikal Finance Group and Gazprom faced, the latter was awarded the contract and thus took over three-quarters of the core business of Yukos.

Three days later, the complete takeover of the Baikal Finance Group by the Russian state oil company Rosneft.

Former Yukos owner complained to the European Court of Human Rights for alleged discrimination against the group by the control method of the Russian state. The suit was dismissed in September 2011 with the possibility of appeal. The court rejected all allegations of a politically motivated process, but saw the way the collection of the tax liabilities for the years 2000 to 2003 as " disproportionate", as well as a violation of the protection of property, although the authorities had all traded on a legal basis.


The attorney for the former majority shareholder of the Russian oil company Yukos, Robert R. Amsterdam, named after the auctioning of Juganskneftegas Chancellor Gerhard Schröder as " Mafioso " as he, together with Deutsche Bank tolerate the breach of law in Russia in the interest of German corporations.

Numerous members of the Bundestag, including the German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser -Schnarrenberger, pointed out that Yukos had been battered by a government that is prepared to use every means in their power tool to enforce their interests.

On 28 December 2004, the Russian presidential adviser Andrei Illarionov told a press conference, the Yukos case, there had been the " Affair of the Year 2004".