Auchan addresses president with request to assist in investigation of seizure of land plot near Odesa
The Auchan group of companies (Auchan Retail Ukraine and Ceetrus Ukraine) appealed to the President of Ukraine with a request to protect the rights of investors and assist in the investigation of the illegal sale of land in the village of Lymanka (Odesa region) with a total area of about 27 hectares.
"We ask you, dear Volodymyr Oleksandrovych, to take all possible measures to protect the rights of investors and maintain the level of confidence in Ukraine," the group said on its website.
According to the group, the land plot acquired by the group for the construction of a shopping and entertainment center with a multi-level transport interchange was seized and transferred to the management of the Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA). At the same time, Auchan has nothing to do with this criminal proceeding, the group said.
"According to court decisions, which were later canceled, the plots were transferred to ARMA for management, but ARMA decided to urgently and with numerous violations sell them to a shell company with a charter capital of UAH 5,000. The selling price was less than 4% of the market value. Circumstances of the sale of the plots, as well as the actions of the appraiser are the subject of investigation by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), and the appeal against the land sale is being heard by the Supreme Court," Auchan said.
Thus, the statutory monetary value of the land is UAH 432 million, while the forensic expert estimated it at UAH 229 million. At the same time, the selling price amounted to UAH 8.7 million.
"In criminal cases, no one has yet been charged with a notice of suspicion, ARMA continues selling the assets that it must effectively manage for a mere song. We can only hope for the protection of our property by the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court, despite all the obstacles from ARMA and those involved in this scheme," the group said.
As reported, the Odesa Primorsky District Court in April 2019 seized land plots with a total area of about 27 hectares and transferred them to the management of ARMA, evidenced by the court decision in the unified public register of court decisions.
Subsequently, as stated in the decision, ARMA sold the plots transferred to it for management at an auction at a reduced price – for UAH 8.765 million. The winner of the auction was Peluccio LLC (Kyiv).
As reported, Ceetrus Ukraine LLC intended to complete the construction of the first stage of the large-scale three-phase project Les Vignes (Levin, the name is under approval) in 2018 at the intersection of Hlushko Avenue and Zhukov Avenue in the Ovidiopol district of Odesa.
As the UTG consulting company reported in April 2019, the opening dates for the Auchan Les Vignes mall were postponed indefinitely.