Ukraine is on the verge of large-scale oligarchic war. Victor Pinchuk is the court Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov, challenging their right to large steel plant, half of which is now owned by Rinat Akhmetov.
In many ways, a similar process between Boris Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich in the 2011-2012 school year went down in history as the “trial of the century”. Thanks to confront the oligarchs public learned about the smallest details of corruption, betrayal and lies in the Russian business era of primitive capital accumulation.
Such expect and Ukrainians. Proceedings between Pinchuk and Kolomoisky will be held at the High Court in London, but the echo of judicial debate will soon be heard in Kiev. According to people close to opposition business, such large-scale information wars Ukraine is not yet known.
And according to the documents that the parties to court, a compromise in this war, no one will look. At stake are not only billions of dollars, but also goodwill participants in the process and the possibility of further revision of ownership rights to other major assets.
Media holdings Victor Pinchuk and Igor Kolomoisky already preparing for the mutual destruction of the reputation of their respective owners. Today, representatives of both business groups actively collect any information about the events surrounding the privatization of large metallurgical assets in 1997-2007, respectively. Some of them even use their own purposes espionage against journalists who write on this topic.
However, already in the case file, Viktor Pinchuk, Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov uncovered sufficient amount of information, which theoretically could lead to a revision of the results of privatization and large-scale redistribution of property.
Much of what is reported oligarchs court was known before. But now it is not just a rumor and speculation, and the official version of reality, based on which Viktor Pinchuk and Igor Kolomoisky will publicly condemn each other in bad faith, “kidalovo”, corruption and the use of political leverage in their business interests.
Brief story of the dispute is as follows. Viktor Pinchuk claims that in the autumn of 2004, he passed a group of “Private” 130 million. Dollars to buy the state a large metallurgical enterprises. But after the privatization of the plant privatovtsy refused to give him put a stake.
Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov categorically deny – and the fact of receiving money and any arrangements with Viktor Pinchuk about the actions of the enterprise. According to them, they agreed on a redistribution of the plant is not Pinchuk and Renat Akhmetov.
Pinchuk claims they explain his belief that the plant owners must pay him – with his son as president – for Kuchma’s signature under the law on privatization in 2004.
At the disposal of “Ukrainian Truth” were Victor Pinchuk claim to the High Court in London and responses written explanations Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov. In the first part we give only a brief retelling of the versions of both sides.
The dispute broke out between the oligarchs around the largest enterprise in Ukraine iron ore underground mining – Krivoy Rog iron ore plant (KZHRK).
Until 2004, the plant was part of the state enterprise Ukrrudprom. As a result of privatization in August 2004 KZHRK was sold “Solaym”, part of the so-called group of “Private” Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov.
To date, plant owned by a Cypriot company Starmill Limited, which is run in partnership group Rinat Akhmetov and Igor Kolomoisky.
Viktor Pinchuk alleges that in August 2004, Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov bought KZHRK not for himself, but in his Pinchuk interests.
According to him, a month before he met with privatization “privatovtsami” in Yalta, and in the presence of Rinat Akhmetov and Surkis brothers agreed with them that will cover the costs for the purchase of the plant, and after the auction Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov KZHRK give his property.
Further, says Pinchuk, Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov really bought KZHRK, and for the first time even appointed his men in the control plant.
And when it came to return the company to Pinchuk, “privatovtsy” reported that all the shares owned by a certain company KZHRK Alcross the British Virgin Islands, bought by Pinchuk will become full owner of the asset.
Viktor Pinchuk allegedly believed, but by paying 143 million dollars for Alcross, found that this shell company dummy. When the scheme was discovered, “privatovtsy” Pinchuk offered a new deal: the owner of “Interpipe” get a factory, if he agreed to develop, together with the group “Privat” Ferroalloy and holding his hand over management of its stake in the Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant (NFP).
At that time, Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov already controlled the lion’s share of production of ferroalloys in the country, but creating a complete monopoly “hindered” the 73% stake in Pinchuk’s Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant.
Viktor Pinchuk again agreed to a deal with the “Private”. But with the condition that its members will be leaders of the Russian financial-industrial group “Luzhniki” – Alexander Babakov and Mikhail Voevodin. In fact, “luzhnikovtsy” had become a guarantor of the agreements between the Victor Pinchuk and Igor Kolomoisky.
As a result, after long negotiations, the parties agreed that the founders will be holding Ferroalloy “Privat” group (50%), Victor Pinchuk (30%) and “luzhnikovtsy” (20%).
Under the deal, in addition to combining ferroalloy assets and return KZHRK Pinchuk, the parties would have to compensate each other losses: Pinchuk had to pay “Private” dividends on shares of NFP and Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov – income from work KZHRK for the time of possession combine.
In a short time the basic terms of the transaction have been met. Pinchuk gave a total of its shares in the NFP, and the group “Privat” – all of its assets in other ferroalloy plants. Ferroalloy Holding was created.
Had to perform only the last paragraph – concerning the payment of debts. But, according to Pinchuk, Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov did not want to approve the procedure for repayment of debts, and because the deal was not formally closed, KZHRK shares remained in the possession of the group “Privat”.
Then came the conflict for the redistribution of the two sides. According to the lawsuit Pinchuk, in July 2007, Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov sold 50% of its shares in KZHRK Rinat Akhmetov.
The leaders of the group “Privat” deny almost all key points of the claim Viktor Pinchuk.
Unlike Pinchuk, is based on the business side of the question, Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov also describe the political aspect of the events in question in the lawsuit.
In particular, they argue that Viktor Pinchuk had a significant influence on the authorities by marriage with the daughter of President Leonid Kuchma.
As an example of Viktor Pinchuk their influence on public authorities Kolomoysky leads the situation around the company Ukrnafta, a majority of which belonged to the state.
According Kolomoisky, in 2002, Viktor Pinchuk, and invited him to make a deal Bogolyubov: Pinchuk helps designate the governing bodies of relevant “privatovtsam” people, in exchange for that Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov give him half the profits Urknafty and monthly list of $ 5 million in a “special fund”.
In this Kolomoisky argues that Pinchuk did not conceal that this fund was formed for the election campaign, Leonid Kuchma, who was preparing for the third term of his presidency.
According Kolomoisky, in total, they are listed in this election cash of $ 100 million.
The essence of the version of “Private” is that all claims Victor Pinchuk reduced to the fact that he, as son-in-Kuchma had the right to demand action KZHRK in exchange for signing by President privatization law Ukrrudprom.
In this Kolomoysky categorically denies any agreement to purchase shares in favor KZHRK Victor Pinchuk. He said the agreement was, but not with Pinchuk, and … with Rinat Akhmetov, and concerned only 50% of the plant.
According Kolomoiskiy in March 2004 in Milan, he met with Akhmetov, and they agreed that the group “Private” will buy the state shares KZHRK and after privatization will give half of the shares Combine Rinat Akhmetov.
And after a while, Rinat Akhmetov Kolomoisky complained that Viktor Pinchuk is threatening to use its influence and, if KZHRK not buy in his favor, Kuchma would veto the law passed by parliament on privatization Ukrrudprom.
When this does not negate the fact Kolomoysky Yalta meeting with Pinchuk. Lunch at the restaurant “Tiflis” was said Kolomoisky. Then, in the presence of Viktor Pinchuk and Akhmetov Surkis brothers really raised the issue of privatization KZHRK, but no agreement on this issue has not been reached.
And the fact that after the privatization of the plant managers were appointed by the Victor Pinchuk people was due to the fact that the plant was bought in favor of Pinchuk, and fears that President-in-law could have on the owners KZHRK pressure.
All further agreement on the transfer of the plant Pinchuk privatovtsy categorically deny. In particular, the words Pinchuk that under the guise of shares KZHRK for $ 140 million it sold the company to a dummy Alcross.
According Kolomoisky, Pinchuk initially knew Alcross – is a front company and bought it only to legally formalize the return of the debts on other assets – Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant (NFP).
If you believe Igor Kolomoisky, NFP – another plant, in respect of which the Victor Pinchuk used his political position. According Kolomoisky, in 1999, they agreed with Pinchuk, that all purchased from the state shares of NFP will be divided equally between them. But Viktor Pinchuk failed to comply with this condition, resulting in “privatovtsy” were minority shareholders of the plant.
After the 2005 presidential election, the new government had questions to the Kuchma era of privatization. And in his testimony Igor Kolomoisky not hide the fact that at that time, a group of “Private” actively helped the state to sue Pinchuk shares NFP that, if successful, to buy their own. Recall at the time was head of the government Yulia Tymoshenko.
Igor Kolomoisky argues that the idea of a Ferroalloy suggested not holding it, and the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in April 2006 at a meeting in Geneva. According Kolomoisky Pinchuk was concerned that the Yulia Tymoshenko may re-become prime minister, and shares Pinchuk NFP finally come under state control.
Kolomoysky recognize all the agreements on the establishment of Ferroalloy holding and participation in this transaction “luzhnikovtsev” Babakov and Mikhail Vojvodina. But it categorically denies that these agreements as a provides for the transfer of shares KZHRK Viktor Pinchuk.
Moreover, Kolomoysky accuses Pinchuk is that when you create Ferroalloy holding the owner of “Interpipe” violated the agreement and has not paid the debt, arguing that all the documentation on the activities of NFP was destroyed.
What is important – according to the testimony Kolomoiskiy, 50% of the shares were transferred KZHRK Rinat Akhmetov about a month before the start of negotiations on the establishment of Ferroalloy holding. It happened March 24, 2006, rather than in July 2007, he was convinced Victor Pinchuk.
In the final part of his testimony Igor Kolomoisky assures the court that Pinchuk has no chance to prove their case because, according to Ukrainian legislation, he missed the time for filing a lawsuit.
Under the Civil Code of Ukraine, appeal to the court must be received within three years from the date on which the person became aware of the violation of his rights and interests. Viktor Pinchuk filed a lawsuit in March 2013, and the sale of shares KZHRK Rinat Akhmetov he learned in July 2007.
Viktor Pinchuk asked a British court to force Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov admit that shares KZHRK were and are held in trust for him. As well as reparation for all damage from owning combine group “Privat”, including all the profits earned from work KZHRK for all this time.
According to sources close to the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, in case of winning payout relying owner “Interpipe” can be from 800 million to 2.5 billion US dollars.
Behind the scenes details of the court confrontation Victor Pinchuk and the group “Privat” in London are of particular interest. On the background of the events of ten years ago, around which there is a trial, and the role of Rinat Akhmetov in the conflict between Viktor Pinchuk and Igor Kolomoisky, see the “Ukrainian Truth” in the near future.