Home Estate Planning Ukrainian court confirms £98m lawsuit against London-listed Ferrexpo billionaire

Ukrainian court confirms £98m lawsuit against London-listed Ferrexpo billionaire

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The Ukrainian government is pursuing an embezzlement case against a Ukrainian billionaire by suing him through a subsidiary of his London-listed company.

Kostyantyn Zhevago, who controls FTSE 250-listed iron pellet producer Ferrexpo, was arrested in December 2022 at the request of Ukraine, which wants him for alleged embezzlement involving a now-collapsed bank, named Finances and Credit.

A statement on the London Stock Exchange this morning said that the country’s court of appeal has confirmed a $125m (£98m) suit from an unknown claimant against Ferrexpo Poltava Mining (FPM), a Ukrainian subsidiary of Ferrexpo.

FPM had previously tried and failed to appeal decisions to progress the case in August last year, but the Group remains of the view that FPM has compelling arguments to defend the position in the Supreme Court.

Zhevago stepped down from his position leading the company in 2019 but remains its largest shareholder, with 49.5 per cent.

A company spokesperson told City A.M.: “We are experiencing a campaign of interference in our operations by Ukrainian law enforcement agencies and are caught up in a dispute that has nothing to do with us.”

“We believe that the claims to recover funds from its subsidiaries are without merit because they did not enter into any surety agreements.”

Finances and Credit bank was founded in 1990 and by the size of assets it was considered one of the largest banks of Ukraine according to classification of National Bank of Ukraine.

On 17 December 2016 the National Bank of Ukraine withdrew the banking license of Finance and Credit and liquidated the bank.

Ferrexpo is also facing several court cases or investigations by Ukrainian authorities trying to recover assets from Zhevago.

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