Supreme Court rules against magnate in share case

12:26, 08 April 2008
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Akhmetov lost his stake in Dniproenergo

The Economic Chamber of the Supreme Court of Ukraine has allowed the appeal of Business-Invest Ltd., brought against the ruling of the Supreme Economic Court of Ukraine, and declared illegal all decisions, adopted by the general meeting of Dniproenergo shareholders on April 27, 2007.

Thus, the Supreme Court struck down a restructuring plan of Dniproenergo, which would have given a larger stake of the power company to the country`s wealthiest magnate, Rinat Akhmetov.

Business-Invest spokesman Oleksander Vynnychenko has disclosed this to UNIAN.

According to him, in particular, the Supreme Court cancelled the ruling of the Supreme Economic Court of Ukraine, which had declared illegal the ruling of the Zaporizhzhya Oblast Appeal Court. The latter also declared illegal all decisions of the mentioned-above meeting of shareholders.

O.Vynnychenko stressed that the ruling of the Supreme Court cannot be appealed against.

As UNIAN reported earlier, at the meeting on August 27, 2007, Dneproenergo shareholders decided to increase the statutory fund by 52.07% - up to 149 million 185.8 thousand hryvnias, after Investment Society Ltd. joined the company. The statutory fund should have been increased by means of an additional issue of 2 million 43 thousand 434 shares UAH 25 by par value.

After this issue, “Donbass Fuel-Energy Company” Ltd. should have consolidated 44.279% of Dniproenergo shares. However, the respective amendments were not introduced into the register of Dniproenergo shareholders.

This decision was appealed against by Business-Invest Ltd. (a minority shareholder of Dniproenergo), which decided that its interests were violated.

According to Reuters, the government of former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich signed off on the deal. Akhmetov is a leading member of Yanukovich`s Regions party.

But the agreement was criticised by Yulia Tymoshenko, restored as prime minister last December, as a shady way of transferring a stake into private hands without an open tender. The government now plans to privatise 60 percent of the firm.

The ruling upholds a decision by a regional court taken in December days after Tymoshenko`s government began work.

Yanukovich then blasted the ruling as effectively "reprivatising" Dniproenergo. Tymoshenko spooked investors during her last tenure as premier in 2005 with her calls for a major review of previous sell-offs.

DTEK, a holding company controlled by Akhmetov, which received the new shares via a unit, criticised the court ruling, saying it did not keep to the letter of the law and favoured instead the interests of the magnate`s business rivals.

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