Oil giant Yukos will be allowed to use new cash recently discovered down the back of the couch in reception, to pay off a massive tax bill, Russian bailiffs have agreed.
The decision is a lifeline for the beleaguered company and means it can use the loose change, an out of date condom and a lost wedding ring for operating costs and so stay afloat. Yukos said it welcomed the decision that "will allow us to steadily pay off our tax bill", put at $3.4bn (£1.8bn).
This follows repeated requests by Yukos for it to spread out its payments over a number of Geological eras.
Russia's largest oil producer, producing one fifth of the country's oil, will now be able to pay for it's directors not to get molested in the showers at the Gulag they are being held in.
The company's long-running stand-off with the state, and the arrest of its founder and Russia's richest man Mikhail Khodorkovsky on separate charges, have helped push up oil prices to record highs. The returning of the reception sofa marks a softening of the states approach to the problem.
The agreement with the state helped ease some of the global oil price pressure despite oil cartel Opec's warning that supplies are becoming scarce. The Saudi Royal Family are having to cut back on their personal use, 23 of their Yachts moored of the coast of Dubai are having the air conditioning turned off for three minutes per day.
So far, Yukos has managed to pay $700m of its $3.4bn (£1.8bn) tax bill for the year 2000, and its executives have vowed to try their best to pay off the remainder soon. For instance Mikhail Knobvik, the acting CEO, is having a garage sale on Saturday at his Dacha in the Urals. Items are likely to include his old golf clubs, a hardly used Mercedes CL500 and the Lost Ark of The Covenant.
The interim board also announced the appointment of new Acting CFO Roger Burge, who whilst Financial Director at Euro Tunnel was used to managing massive debt. It was he who found the sofa cash whilst fiddling in reception before his first interview. On his first day Burge has announced a number of innovative initiatives including that he will be selling a kidney on Ebay. Not his own, but that of his PA Wendy.
Commentators warn, however, that if the government pushes through with 2001-2003 tax claims, the bill could end up being as high as $10bn. In which case plans are afoot to check the furniture in the boardroom as well