Swissport International Ltd., the largest provider of ground and cargo services to the aviation sector, announces that in yesterday´s court ruling (02 October) the Highest Economic Court in Kiev decided to cancel all decisions taken by the first two court instances and to redirect the case to the first instance for review.
The legal basis on which UIA (Ukraine International Airlines) tried to justify its new full ownership in the ground handling entity was declared null and void. The court ruling creates a new starting point from which Swissport is expecting to get its majority ownership of the former "Swissport Ukraine" (now firming as "Interavia") and the respective shares back.
Swissport is open for an amicable solution and looking forward to discuss further steps with the airlines´ representatives. Swissport also feels encouraged about this signal of the Ukraine, moving into the right direction and not only verbally distancing from unlawful behaviors.
In yesterday´s court hearing the Highest Economic Court in the Ukraine has decided the court rulings of the Kyiv City Economic Court and Kyiv Economic Court of Appeal as null and void and redirected the case back to the first instance for reconsideration. With this ruling the basis on which UIA tried to take over full ownership of Swissport Ukraine (now Interavia) end of March has been declared invalid, and Swissport is expecting the new situation to lead to a reverse transfer of its ownership of 70.6 percent of the shares in former Swissport Ukraine.
Swissport is confident that the Anti-Raider-Commission initiated by the government of the Ukraine will now start to continuously and closely monitor the review process and the reverse transaction processes as well as the reversal of the unjustified capital increase UIA undertook with the aim to dilute Swissport. The Commission just recently has started to observe and investigate on several hostile takeovers in the Ukraine - among them Swissport - and announced it will support in protecting foreign investments and unfairly treated companies in getting back their business through a fair and lawful process. Swissport is counting on this necessary support for the next procedures.
Mark Skinner, SVP Ground Handling Northern Europe & North Africa states: "We have been very concerned over the last months, but were always convinced that the law and right are on our side. The endorsement of the Highest Economic Court is an important step and encouragement not only for Swissport but for all foreign investors that are, or want to be active in the Ukraine. We are confident that the latest developments in the Ukraine, initiated by the Government and the Highest Economic Court of the Ukraine, are a good first step and now advancing into the right direction."
Swissport in a next step will invite UIA to an open roundtable discussion. Mark Skinner: "We are open to find an amicable solution with UIA, as it was our intention from the beginning, and will drive things forward. This would help the company to concentrate on delivering high quality operations and services to the benefit of its customers."
The court case of Swissport in the Ukraine including yesterdays´ court ruling is continuously backed by the Swiss and French Embassies in the Ukraine. Their continuous support in addition to the expected on-going support of the Anti-Raider-Commission is invaluable. The issue also reached the attention of the European Commission and its delegates, who will continue to follow the case closely and will appreciate the latest developments and right steps towards effective protection of foreign investment.