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Court brings Transpetrol closer to Slovakia

The Pravda daily reported on November 6 that the Government, which owns a majority share in Slovakia's oil-pipeline operator Transpetrol, has come back into play as a prospective buyer of the remaining 49-percent stake in the company. This occurred because a court in Amsterdam recognised last week that people favouring a deal with Robert Fico's Cabinet are the legitimate heads of Dutch shareholder Yukos Finance, Pravda wrote.

Pravda reminded its readers that the Transpetrol shares were bought five years ago by Yukos Finance's parent firm, Russian oil company Yukos, which was declared bankrupt in 2006. The shares had been transferred by that time to Yukos Finance, and a re-purchase deal was prepared by Slovak Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek and the American heads of Yukos Finance, Bruce Misamore and David Godfrey. Misamore and Godfrey were fired by the bankruptcy receiver, but have now been reinstated by the court in Amsterdam.

According to the economy ministry, it will be necessary to wait and see what the impact of the court verdict will be on an auction held earlier this year by Yukos receiver Eduard Rebgun, who sold Yukos Finance for Sk7.6 billion (€229 million) to a company called Promnesfstroj, which in turn was probably acting on behalf of Russian concern Rosneft. The auction will probably be declared invalid, as the Amsterdam court called into question the need to declare Yukos bankrupt, meaning that Rebgun was not entitled to sell off Yukos Finance. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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