Background information on the history of Swissport in the Ukraine:
In 2006 Swissport acquired 51% shares in the company "Interavia", which then was renamed to "Swissport Ukraine". Other shareholders were UIA (29.4%), and ABH (19.6%). Both UIA and SPI had a call option to acquire the remaining 19.6% of ABH, either on a pro rata basis or all of the 19.6% if the other did not exercise the call option. In 2008 Swissport exercised the call option, UIA did not. Consequently Swissport could acquire the full 19.6% of ABH, which resulted in Swissport holding 70.6% shares of Swissport Ukraine. Until 2011 the company had a very good partnership with UIA, until UIA´s ownership changed to more private investors with Aron Mayberg at the forefront. As Swissport Ukraine was successfully growing double-digit every year, investments into the company became necessary to support further growth. UIA from the beginning struggled with being able to meet their pro rata share obligations. Swissport was ready to finance the growth and was expressing its future will to further invest in the company's future and to ensure continuous growth by financing the company even beyond obligations. Based on mere discussion during a Participants´ Meeting about a potential future capital increase, UIA and particularly Aron Mayberg alleged that Swissport would violate UIA´s minority shareholder´s rights and went to court.
Kyiv City Economic Court
UIA claimed that Swissport allegedly violated the Participants' Agreement and UIA's minority shareholders' rights and demanded that Swissport International´s shares of Swissport Ukraine (70.6%) are transferred to UIA. UIA aimed at gaining 100% of the shares in Swissport Ukraine.
Kyiv Economic Court of Appeal
Swissport International decided to appeal against the decision of the 1st instance, but the court refused the delivery of the written court ruling and thereby hindered Swissport International's appeal preparations. On 27th March 2013: after approx. 1.5 hours of court hearing, the court ruled against Swissport International and lost ownership of its 70.6% shares in Swissport Ukraine.
Already in the first two instances the court proceedings were not conform with Ukrainian law and Western European standards: Swissport in one case did not receive proper notification from the court, then the court hearings were postponed several times, two judges had been replaced for flimsy reasons, and several times Swissport heard from its lawyers hours before the court hearings that they got the information the court will decide against Swissport - so on 27th March.
For further information please contact:
Swissport International Ltd.
+41 43 815 0010
Farner Consulting AG
+41 44 266 67 22