10:48 08.12.2017

Arricano to appeal to president, Ukraine's financial benefactors for help returning Sky Mall shopping center

KYIV. Dec 8 (Interfax-Ukraine) - Arricano Real Estate Plc (Cyprus), a managing company and developer of some shopping and leisure centers in Ukraine, will send an open letter to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asking to help to execute the judgment of the High Court of Justice in London to return shares of Assofit Holdings Limited, which earlier fully owned Kyiv-based Sky Mall shopping center worth $150 million.

"We want to draw the president's attention to this judgment to help fully investigate this case and restore justice regarding the return of Sky Mall to its legal owner and investor - Arricano. We also want to send an open letter to the embassies of the G7, IMF and international financial institutions-donors of Ukraine so that this talked about and egregious case was investigated," Arricano Real Estate Plc CEO Mykhailo Merkulov said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday.

In his opinion, the decision of the London court on November 30, 2017, which obliges Stockman to transfer the shares of Assofit holding company to Arricano Real Estate Plc at a price equal to $0, should "put an end to this long dispute and allow the triumph of justice in Ukraine."

Majority shareholder in Arricano Hillar Teder said that the case with the seizure of the Sky Mall shopping center affects the reputation of the Ukrainian market in eyes of foreign investors.

"The retail real estate market in Europe is already distributed and saturated. Investors are looking for new markets. Ukraine is interesting for everyone and they want to come here, but potential investors are looking at those who have already entered the market. Since Arricano is the largest Western capital developing shopping centers, they ask us about it," Teder said, adding that, despite the decisions of the London courts, there are no "movements in Ukraine" in respect of the facility which costs $150 million.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Estonia to Ukraine Gert Antsu said that the Estonian government has always been monitored the Sky Mall case and has repeatedly raised this issue at the level of the leaders of the countries.

Tomas Fiala, CEO of the investment company Dragon Capital, said that the decision of the London court is extremely important, but to execute it in Ukraine, when on the other side - opponents who "enjoy the support of political forces and law enforcement agencies" in Ukraine, is not easy.

"Our company, the DUPD investment fund, in 2010 invested $30 million in Arricano and, unfortunately, because of this investment we lost a lot, first because of the unlawful seizure of the Sky Mall," Fiala said.

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