ICU reports NABU raid in its Kyiv office, sees it as political pressure
The National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) is conducting a raid in the central office of the ICU investment group in Kyiv, the company said it had fully satisfied all NABU requests for information before, and regards these investigative actions "as an attempt to put pressure which has an explicit political context."
"ICU sees that behind this political pressure is discontent of the current authorities and their allies with the reforms carried out by their predecessors, some of which had previously worked for ICU," the company said on Friday.
It says that the group is working in normal mode, but in this case it suffers collateral damage, being a subject of economic activity and having no relation to the political processes in the country.
According to ICU, the search is part of the so-called 'Rotterdam+' probe, a criminal case opened in March 2017 against officials of the National Commission for Energy, Housing and Utilities Services Regulation (NCER) on the fact of a possible violation (No.52017000000000209).
"As a law-abiding company, ICU has fully assisted in law enforcers' activity, once again having provided all the requested documents. The company has not received any complaints from law enforcement agencies regarding these transactions," the statement says.
Founded in 2006 by specialists from ING, the ICU investment group is an independent financial group that provides brokerage, asset management and private equity services. It focuses on the markets of Central and Eastern Europe. It manages assets of over $500 million.
The group is owned by its top managers: Managing Partners Makar Paseniuk and Kostiantyn Stetsenko who own 45.011005% and 44.992663% of shares, respectively, a 9.996332% take belongs to ex-minister of energy and coal industry Volodymyr Demchyshyn. Oleksandr Valchishen, the co-owner of the company until recently, has sold his 6.58474% stake to managing partners in 2019.
Previously, the co-owner and head of the group's board of directors was Valeriya Gontareva, who, at the suggestion of the fifth president, Petro Poroshenko, was endorsed by parliament as governor of the National Bank of Ukraine in June 2014.
In addition, Dmytro Vovk, who was later appointed NCER head, worked at ICU for some time.