Uralchem seeks to move dispute with Togliattiazot stockholders from Ireland to Russia
MOSCOW, July 4 (RAPSI) – A jurisdiction challenge filed by the fertilizer producer Uralchem in its dispute with four Togliattiazot offshore shareholders is currently pending in the Irish High Court.
Uralchem believes that the dispute is most connected to Russia and is supposed to be tried by Russian courts.
In November 2016, Trafalgar Developments Limited, together with three other offshore trustees, namely Instantania Holdings Limited, Kamara Limited, Bairiki Incorporated, sued Uralchem JSC and other defendants in the High Court of Ireland. The plaintiffs accused Uralchem and other defendants of an alleged conspiracy aimed at injuring the trustees by actions taken to divest them of their shares or benefits in the capital of Togliattiazot PJSC and/or cause loss to the value of their shares.
Uralchem rejects the claims brought by the plaintiffs. The company considers the steps taken to protect its rights as appropriate and lawful, according to its Deputy Director General – Director for Legal Matters Dimitry Tatyanin. The fertilizer producer is resolved to fight any attempts made by the trustees to interfere with Uralchem’s actions aimed at restoring its legitimate interests in Russian courts, he states.
According to Uralchem, the offshores hold approximately 70% shares of Togliattiazot PJSC as trustees, yet they decline to disclose to the Irish court on whose behalf the action is brought and who the ultimate beneficiary of the said shares is. Neither is the amount of claim defined in the plaintiffs’ statement.
On June 27, the Irish High Court stroke out the interlocutory application of the offshore plaintiffs whereby they sought orders to prevent Uralchem JSC from pursuing its civil action in a Russian criminal case over large scale fraud committed in conspiracy by an organized group, as investigated against former management of Togliattiazot and other participants.
Since the Irish court is yet to decide on its own jurisdiction over this dispute, Uralchem proposed an undertaking to refrain, should a judgment on the civil action brought by Uralchem in the Russian case be granted in Uralchem’s favor, from enforcing the said judgment by foreclosure of the assets held by the offshore trustees (plaintiffs) until the resolution of the dispute by the Irish court. Uralchem is entitled to unilaterally withdraw its undertaking, in which case the trustees would be allowed to resume their application. Uralchem remains entitled to pursue its interests in the criminal case and the civil action in Russia, which are pending resolution in the nearest future.
Uralchem is one of the largest producers of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers in Russia and the CIS, the largest ammonium nitrate producer and the second largest producer of ammonia in Russia, according to the company’s official statement.