: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Ukraine`s property fund asks court to undo Ukrtelecom privatization

Ukraine`s State Property Fund (SPF) has lodged a lawsuit with a Kyiv-based economic court against Ukrainian businessman Rinat Akhmetov`s ESU company and the State Export-Import Bank of Ukraine to cancel the sale of shares of Ukraine`s telecoms giant Ukrtelecom and recover UAH 2.17 billion, or US$82.1 million, in fines, according to the SPF`s press service.

”The State Property Fund of Ukraine has filed a lawsuit with the Economic Court of Kyiv against ESU LLC and the State Export-Import Bank of Ukraine JSC on the termination of a contract for the purchase of Ukrtelecom JSC and recovery of a fine worth UAH 2.17 billion. The reason for the claim was the failure to comply with the terms stipulated in the Ukrtelecom sale contract concluded between the State Property Fund and ESU LLC, as well as the post-privatization development concept of Ukrtelecom, which is an integral part of the contract,” it said.

Some 92.79% of Ukrtelecom`s charter capital was sold during privatization in 2011, the press service said.

As UNIAN reported, Ukraine`s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko on April 13 announced that Kyiv`s Pechersky court had satisfied a claim filed by the Prosecutor General`s Office (PGO) to seize shares of Ukrtelecom and its mobile division, TriMob. He said the Prosecutor General`s Office was investigating the illegal allocation of UAH 220 million, $8.3 million, from the national budget of Ukraine on ex-president Viktor Yanukovych`s order and the privatization of 93% of Ukrtelecom`s shares at an artificially reduced price of UAH 1.6 billion, or $60.5 million.

In 2011, ESU LLC bought Ukrtelecom, having paid UAH 10.57 billion for the 92.79% stake. In 2013, Rinat Akhmetov`s holding System Capital Management completed the acquisition of a 100% stake in UA Telecominvest Limited, which owns 100% of ESU shares.

In 2015, the Verkhovna Rada Commission on Privatization instructed the then head of the State Property Fund Ihor Bilous to conduct an official investigation into compliance with the requirements of current legislation by the SPF officials during the Ukrtelecom privatization.

In early December 2016, the SPF refused to approve the ESU`s deal to sell its controlling interest in TriMob due to risks of default on the obligations under the privatization contract.


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