Injustice For Swissport, Part II

Several weeks ago, we wrote about how the legal deck surely seemed stacked against Swissport as it fought a corporate raid on its operations in the Ukraine.

A recap: The owner of Ukraine International Airlines, which operates a joint ground handling operation with Swissport Ukraine, says Swissport violated his company’s minority rights in the deal. As a result, UIA, which holds a 30 percent stake, could buy out Swissport for a pittance.

A final ruling by the courts was expected on Dec. 12, but that decision was postponed until Jan. 16 and, then, until Jan. 30.

At stake is not only a business, but some $8 million in assets at three airports that UIA could effectively buy for $400,000.

Swissport claims the allegations are “baseless.” The Loadstar, a blog based in the UK that reports on the logistics and supply chain management, tipped us off about a few more choice details:

  • Aron Mayberg, reportedly owns all of UIA. He is the founder of AeroSvit, a Ukranian carrier that entered bankruptcy protection this month. Ukrainian media say UIA will take over AeroSvit’s suspended flights.
  • Meanwhile, Ukrainian billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky may have taken a 75 percent interest in UIA. If true, that only adds to Kolomoisky’s clout since he has had control of more than 60 percent of the country’s air transport market.

“While there is no suggestion that any of the executives have been involved in wrongdoing, the Ukrainian air sector is decidedly murky,” The Loadstar writes, “and despite Ukraine’s rise into the top 20 of Agility’s emerging markets logistics index, foreign players in the market say the risks can be big.”