Court freezes SCM’s Ukrtelecom shares; move related to historical allegations

18 Apr 2017

A Ukrainian court has issued a decision freezing the controlling shares in national fixed line incumbent Ukrtelecom and its mobile subsidiary TriMob held by domestic conglomerate SCM, itself wholly owned by the country’s richest man Rinat Akhmetov. As reported by the Kyiv Post, the Pechersk Kyiv Court decision comes amidst an investigation into previous alleged misappropriation of state funds. Led by Ukrainian General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, the investigation focuses on possible embezzlement connected to Ukrtelecom’s original privatisation in 2011 during the presidency of Viktor Yanukovich (who went into exile in Russia in 2014). BizLiga cited SCM’s response to the share freeze: ‘As the controlling shareholder and the owner of Ukrtelecom and its subsidiary TriMob, SCM group is interested in an objective and independent investigation into all the circumstances of Ukrtelecom’s privatisation. As we have previously stated, the SCM group did not participate in the privatisation of Ukrtelecom in 2011, and acquired the asset of its previous owners in 2013.’

Ukraine, Ukrtelecom (incl. TriMob)