The shares of the Kryvyi Rih Iron Ore Plant (KZHRK) owned by the Ukrainian businessman have changed hands, NV Business claims, citing the decision of the London Court, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
According to them, Kolomoisky sold 50% of the mine in Krivoy Rog for $926 million to the Russian Mikhail Voevodin – allegedly, the businessman concluded such an unusual agreement with the Russian businessman before the nationalization of PrivatBank.
It is noted that Kolomoisky continues to manage the mine.
The publication refers to the decision of the High Court of London published on January 31, 2023, by which it strengthened the effects of the court order on the worldwide arrest of assets (WFO, Worldwide Freezing Order) of the former owners of PrivatBank Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov.
Now WFO can be applied to transactions carried out in the last 5 years, that is, after the introduction of worldwide arrest. This applies to dividends, their distribution or other income, as well as bank accounts in excess of £1 million. The court did not take into account the arguments of Kolomoisky’s side.
“The treaty has some surprising features. Firstly, the initials of the parties to the agreement are indicated on the document, and not the full names; secondly, the period for which payments must be completed is not indicated; thirdly, jurisdiction for resolving disputes is not indicated, although at the top of the document it is indicated that it was signed in Geneva. Under the terms of the agreement, Kolomoisky continues to manage the sold stake until the settlement is completed, and Voevodin agreed to limit his right to dispose of the shares”, the publication pointed out, referring to the comments of the representative of PrivatBank during the meeting.
At the same time, with reference to the judge, it is noted that “the KZHRK agreement is distinguished by its informality – it is surprising that an agreement fixing the obligation to pay almost $ 1 billion for the fulfillment of certain conditions has such a form.” He also agreed with the conclusion of the representative of PrivatBank that the agreement showed the existence of close relations and a high degree of trust between Kolomoisky and Vojvodina.
Voevodin and Selivanova were in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs among the ultimate owners of KZHRK in 2019-2020.
In a British court, the financial institution accuses the former owners of withdrawing almost $2 billion. Currently, the amount is $4 billion, including interest, PrivatBank data are given in the publication.
In 2017, the High Court of London ruled in favor of the bank, imposing a worldwide arrest on the assets of Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov until the dispute is finally resolved. In the list of assets that Kolomoisky provided to the court in 2018, number 112 included the right to receive $926.8 million in compensation for him and Bogolyubov for 100% of Kadis, which owns 50% of Starmill Limited, the direct owner of KZHRK.
PrivatBank tried to extend the WFO, including payments to Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov for the shares of the plant, follows from the case file. The decision received on January 31st potentially allows this. It is still not clear from the court materials whether Voevodin made at least one payment in compensation to Kolomoisky.
On May 28, 2021, the shareholders of KZHRK approved the payment of dividends for 2013-2020 – for a total of UAH 8.84 billion, or $326 million. The share of Kadis, which Kolomoisky and Boholiubov should receive along the chain, amounted to $163 million.
The case notes that by December 7, 2021, Kadis received $60 million to its account with Credit-Dnepr Bank, another $5 million should later be transferred to the same bank from Kadis’ PIN Bank account. Prior to Russia’s full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, the money never made it to Newsteel, the next company in the chain. And after the outbreak of a full-scale war, restrictions imposed by the National Bank of Ukraine made it impossible to transfer funds. Nothing is known about the rest of the dividends paid, about $100 million, according to the case file.
In Ukraine, Mikhail Voevodin, together with Russian businessmen Yevgeny Giner and Alexander Babakov, was for many years called the non-public co-owner of the VS Energy group, which owned several oblenergos, hotels, shopping centers, agricultural business and PIN Bank. In 2006 in Geneva, Kolomoisky, Bogolyubov, Pinchuk, Voevodin, Babakov and VS Energy President Mikhail Spektor agreed to create a joint ferroalloy holding. Vojvodin and his partners got 20% of the association.
Since the end of the 2000s, VS Energy has managed the Dneprospetsstal plant. Among its co-owners, journalists of the Scheme project in the summer of 2020 discovered the companies of Kolomoisky and Viktor Medvedchuk.
After the capture of Crimea by Russia, the group was reorganized. Ukrainian VS Energy manages exclusively energy. Its public owners are Latvian citizens Arturs Altbergs, Valts Vigants, Villis Dambinsh and German citizens Oleg Sizerman and Giner’s wife Marina Yaroslavskaya. The hotel chain Premier Hotels is owned by the co-owner of KZRK Natalya Selivanova and Dambinsh. Selivanova received assets in the process of divorcing Mr. Voevodin, Dambiņš claimed in an interview with Forbes Baltics.
The appeal of the National Police to the State Border Service due to the presence of a green alert in May 2019 became the reason for the ban on Vojvodina from entering Ukraine. The businessman, who has Russian, Slovak and Israeli citizenship, appealed against this decision in court and in April 2021 achieved its cancellation, follows from the court decision. In particular, his lawyers provided letters and certificates from the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Europol and Russian law enforcement officers about the absence of data on his prosecution as an accused or suspect. In addition, the National Police withdrew its presentation to the border guards.
On October 19, Volodymyr Zelensky put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council on sanctions against a number of Russian businessmen and their families. Among others, the current owner of PIN Bank Evgeny Giner and Mikhail Voevodin are listed in the document.
KZHRK specializes in underground mining of iron ore. KZHRK has four mines: Pokrovskaya (former Zhovtneva), Kryvorizhskaya (Batkivshchyna), Kozatskaya (formerly Gvardeyskaya) and Ternovskaya (formerly Ordzhonikidze Mine Administration, then named after M. Lenin).
Starmill Limited owns 99.88% of the mill’s shares.
The operational management of KZHRK is carried out by the Privat group.