24 Jun 2024 15:26

Ukraine's Supreme Court dismisses Ferrexpo appeal against freeze on 50.3% stakes in mining divisions

MOSCOW. June 24 (Interfax) - Ukraine's Supreme Court has refused to hear Ferrexpo AG's appeal against a freeze on 50.3% stakes in its iron ore mining divisions that was imposed as an injunctive measure in the Ukrainian Deposit Guarantee Fund's lawsuit seeking UAH46 billion from Ferrexpo principal shareholder Konstantin Zhevago as the former owner of Finance & Credit Bank (F&C Bank), which went bankrupt and was stripped of its license.

This decision was made by the Supreme Courts Commercial Court of Cassation on June 13, Ukrainian media reported, citing court records.

The court decided to "refuse to open cassation proceedings in the cassation appeal of Ferrexpo AG against the May 28, 2024 ruling of the Northern Commercial Court of Appeal," the court materials stated. "The decision goes into legal force from the moment of its signing and is not subject to appeal."

The Commercial Court of Cassation concluded that the appeal was groundless, since the first instance and appeal courts' correct application of Ukraine's Commercial Procedure Code is "beyond dispute in their application and interpretation."

Ferrexpo, a producer of iron ore pellets with operations in Ukraine, has been trying to lift the freeze on 50.3% stakes in its subsidiaries Poltava Mining, Yeristovo Mining and Belanovo Mining in the lawsuit against Zhevago since the beginning of 2023.

The court ruling also bars Ferrexpo Plc from disposing of its shares in Ferrexpo AG and Fevamotinico S.a.r.l. from selling its shares in Ferrexpo Plc, as well as any actions to reregister ownership rights to the 50.3% stakes in Poltava Mining, Yeristovo Mining and Belanovo Mining.

Ferrexpo Group subsidiaries affected by this court ruling, including Ferrexpo AG, filed appeals in March 2023 to lift the restrictions. Last June, the court recognized them as third parties and in July dismissed the appeals. Ferrexpo said at the time that it was preparing to file an appeal with the Supreme Court.

Ferrexpo owns 100% of iron ore miners Ferrexpo Poltava Mining and Ferrexpo Yeristovo Mining, as well as 99.9% of Ferrexpo Belanovo Mining.

Ukrainian businessman and former MP Zhevago is the subject of investigations in Ukraine concerning illegal asset stripping from F&C Bank, which was once one of the country's top ten banks by assets.

The official exchange rate was UAH40.52/$1 on June 21.