undone deal

Oligarch Can Sue Ex-RWE Boss

Jürgen Grossmann has been left to reflect on the deal.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The decision to allow a case against Jürgen Grossmann and not his former employer RWE is a surprise.

  • Facts


    • Sintez, owned by oligarch Leonid Lebedev, is one of Russia’s largest privately run companies.
    • It planned to buy a Russian electricity producer in a joint venture with RWE.
    • Sintez was left high and dry when RWE pulled out of the deal in 2008 blaming the financial crisis.
  • Audio


  • Pdf

Once a year, self-made German billionaire Jürgen Grossmann invites car aficionados and friends to his “Classic Cars & Cuisine Culinaire.” The non-competitive road rally combines vintage cars and good food. The endpoint of the excursion is usually Mr. Grossmann’s three-star restaurant in the northwestern German city of Osnabrück. His steel-manufacturing company, Georgsmarienhütte, is nearby.

Mr. Grossmann, 63, also invites business partners. In 2008, 80 cars traveled from Bremen to Osnabrück. Russian oligarch Leonid Lebedev, 58, was among the participants.

At the time, Mr. Grossmann was chief executive of RWE, Germany’s largest utility company. It was working with Mr. Lebedev’s Sintez Group, one of Russia’s biggest privately owned firms, on the acquisition of a Russian electricity producer.

Want to keep reading?

Subscribe now or log in to read our coverage of Europe’s leading economy.