Slovakia will pay nearly €400,000 for legal services related to the buyback of a 49 percent stake in the crude oil transport company Transpetrol, the SITA wrote.
According to a Finance Ministry proposal, the cabinet approved the payment at its regular session on Wednesday, April 22. The ministry explained in its proposal that the buyback of the Transpetrol shares represented a very difficult and complex legal process, given that the seller was a company established in line with Dutch law and the original privatisation contract was based on British law. In order to complete the process successfully, it was therefore necessary to hire a legal firm with experience in similar international business transactions.
Slovak Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek and the management of Yukos International agreed to the buyback of the shares in the Slovak crude-oil pipeline operator at the end of March. The whole process was completed last Friday when the Slovak Antitrust Office (PMÚ) approved the transaction. Slovakia paid USD 240 million for the 49-percent stake. In the 2002 privatisation of Transpetrol, Russian oil company Yukos bought the stake for USD 74 million and Slovakia kept a 51-percent majority stake. Yukos later went bankrupt and was forced to sell its assets.
The case has had an extraordinarily complicated legal background and was influenced by several dozen international trials. On October 31, 2007 the Dutch court declared Yukos’ bankruptcy null and void and confirmed that Bruce Misamore and David Godfrey were legitimate directors of YUKOS Finance B.V.. In the wake of repeated meetings and top-level talks with the American directors of YUKOS Finance, the Slovak side agreed the buyback deal. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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