The Supreme Court of Ukraine has re-opened a case against Ukrtelecom’s holding company ESU (part of SCM Group) via which the State Property Fund (SPF) had sought to return ESU’s 92.79% Ukrtelecom stake to the state and force the company to pay USD81.9 million. Liga.net reports that in a decision of 28 August 2019 the Supreme Court said that first-instance and appeal courts had failed to consider all the evidence when rejecting the case, particularly regarding the question of whether ESU had fulfilled specific investment commitments under an initial privatisation contract in place before SCM – the conglomerate owned by Ukrainian tycoon Rinat Akhmetov – entered the ownership.
The Supreme Court decision said: ‘Referring to the presence in the case file of an investment estimate of ESU for each year, the courts did not pay attention that these documents relate to the investments/expenses of Ukrtelecom, and not to ESU. Given the failure of the courts of previous instances to establish all the circumstances of the case that are necessary for the proper resolution of this dispute, the decision and resolution regarding the initial claim is subject to cancellation, and the case – referral for a new consideration.’
Recall that earlier in August the State Executive Service of Ukraine (under the Ministry of Justice) ‘arrested’ the 92.79% controlling stake in Ukrtelecom for debts to state-backed Oschadbank.