News date: 21 April 2023
The Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court issued its final decision in favor of Ferrexpo AG in the case on recognition of the share purchase agreement of 40.19% stake in Ferrexpo Poltava Mining invalid and its transfer to four companies – former shareholders of the enterprise.
The Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court granted Ferrexpo AG’s cassation appeal and cancelled the previous resolution of the appeal court on the reclamation of the stake in Ferrexpo Poltava Mining from the ownership of Ferrexpo AG in favor of its former shareholders.
Court proceedings on recognition of the share purchase agreement of 40.19% stake in Ferrexpo Poltava Mining invalid under the claims of the former shareholders had been conducted since 2005. In 2015, the Supreme Commercial Court of Ukraine rejected all claims of Ferrexpo Poltava Mining’s former shareholders.
However, at the end of 2020, another former shareholder of Ferrexpo Poltava Mining, Trimcroft Services Limited, tried to challenge the share purchase agreement in court again. Later, three other former shareholders, Emsworth Assets Limited, Calefort Developments Limited and Gilson Investments Limited, joined the claim. In May 2021, the Commercial Court of Kyiv rejected the claims of the companies, declaring them baseless.
Disagreeing with the decision of the court of first instance, these companies filed their appeals. In September 2022, the Northern Commercial Court of Appeal recognized the agreement, concluded 20 years ago, invalid and ordered to reclaim 40.19% stake in Ferrexpo Poltava Mining from the lawful ownership of Ferrexpo AG in favor of the claimants.
In order to protect the client’s interests, Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm filed a cassation appeal with the Supreme Court. The Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court, having considered Ferrexpo AG’s cassation appeal, put an end to the legal dispute and cancelled the resolution of the Northern Commercial Court of Appeal on reclaimation of the stake in Ferrexpo Poltava Mining from four companies – former shareholders. Thus, the Supreme Court left 40.19% of share in Ferrexpo Poltava Mining in the legitimate ownership of Ferrexpo AG.
“The decision of the Supreme Court has actually become an exemplary case. This means that courts of all levels while considering the cases on similar grounds will be guided by this decision. The fairness of the decision confirms Ukraine’s compliance with the principles of the rule of law and the protection of international investors and Ukrainian business,” Mikhail Ilyashev said.
Ferrexpo Poltava Mining is the largest Ukrainian producer and exporter of iron ore pellets to Europe. It has a full technological cycle: from the raw ore mining to the production of iron ore pellets.
Ferrexpo Group, to which Ferrexpo Poltava Mining belongs, specializes on the iron ore extraction by open-pit mining. Ferrexpo’s resources base is one of the largest iron ore deposits in the world.