UK Markets closed

Ocado co-founder Jonathan Faiman has assets frozen in row with Russian billionaire

Laura Onita
·1-min read
Mr Faiman said he had not contested the debt
Mr Faiman said he had not contested the debt

Jonathan Faiman, the Ocado ­co-founder who has built a rival tech supermarket business, has had his assets frozen by the High Court as part of an ongoing legal battle with a Russian billionaire.

Mr Faiman is being pursued by Valla, a vehicle controlled by fertiliser billionaire Andrey Melnichenko, over £30m he borrowed.

A judge has already ordered Mr Faiman to pay the money. According to legal papers filed in New York last week, he still owes $30m (£23.6m).

Valla’s lawyers told the US court “a worldwide freeze order was entered in the UK against Mr Faiman’s assets” and asked if they could see records from banks there to trace the cash.

The US legal documents said: “The discovery sought in this application is urgent as the evidence is needed to trace the funds wrongly diverted by Mr Faiman and seek to freeze those funds before they disappear, and for use in the other foreign proceedings against Mr Faiman.” 

A spokesman for Valla said: “We are in legal proceedings to recover loans due to be repaid, while having nothing against Mr Faiman’s business ventures. We cannot comment further in the light of the ongoing legal case.”

A spokesman for Mr Faiman said: “We will not be commenting on what are leaked court documents put into the public arena during the negotiations with Valla in an attempt to create press coverage to damage our business.

"Furthermore, we are aware that Valla has not leaked these documents and wish to make it clear we are not accusing them of doing so.”

Mr Faiman has said that he had never contested the debt but needed more time.