Supreme court sends Odesa port-side plant's UAH 6.77 bln debt case for retrial - SPF
The Supreme Court has overturned a ruling by a court in the town of Yuzhny (Odesa region), which gave Ostchem Holding Limited the right to forcibly recover UAH 5.2 billion in outstanding principal debt and UAH 1.57 billion in accrued fines from Odesa Port-Side Chemical Plant (OPZ) in Ukraine under a ruling of the Stockholm Arbitration Court, and the case was sent for a new trial to a court of lower jurisdiction, Acting Head of the State Property Fund (SPF) Vitaliy Trubarov has said.
"Under a ruling by the Supreme Court's court of appeals, the judgments of the first and appellate courts were abolished, and the case was sent for a retrial," he wrote on Facebook on Monday.
Trubarov said that earlier the Fund had lodged its appeal with the Supreme Court to suspend the enforcement of the Yuzhny town court.
OPZ was unsuccessfully offered for privatization twice in 2017. The lack of interest in the acquisition of the chemical plant is linked, among other things, with its debt worth over $250 million owed to Dmytro Firtash's companies.
According to Trubarov, a tender is to be held late in July 2018 to select an adviser on OPZ's privatization, who is expected to hammer out ways to handle the toxic assets.
The Yuzhny town court on March 6, 2017, met Ostchem's claim to enforce a partial arbitration ruling of July 25, 2016, by the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce under which $193.26 million in principal debt and $57.98 million in fines should be recovered from OPZ in favor of Ostchem. This verdict was later confirmed by Odesa region's court of appeals.
In May 2018, Ukraine's government updated a list of large assets subject to privatization this year. OPZ's 99.567% stake remained on the list.