Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Cypriot court allegedly freezes $79 million of tycoon Bakhmatyuk's assets

by The Kyiv Independent news deskSeptember 29, 2022 6:10 pm
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Cypriot court allegedly freezes $79 million of tycoon Bakhmatyuk's assetsOleg Bakhmatyuk, the majority shareholder of UkrLandFarming, Ukraine's largest egg producer, speaks during an interview in Beijing, China, in May 2012. UkrLandFarming's international investors filed a complaint about him on Dec. 7, 2021, alleging he hid the transfer of more than $1 billion to avoid paying the company's debts.

According to a document obtained by the Kyiv Independent, the District Court of Nicosia in Cyprus has granted a worldwide freezing order against Ukrainian agricultural tycoon Oleh Bakhmatyuk for $79.4 million.

It has also granted an asset disclosure order against Bakhmatyuk and the companies affiliated with him. The court's document is dated Sept. 19.

The majority shareholder of UkrLandFarming, Ukraine's largest egg producer, Bakhmatyuk is accused of hiding assets from his company's major lender – U.S. investment fund Gramercy. 

Gramercy alleged that Bakhmatyuk secretly took the funds out of UkrLandFarming to avoid paying its debts. UkrLandFarming's total debt burden is estimated at $1.65 billion.

Back in December 2021, the U.S. fund filed a complaint in a U.S. federal court against Bakhmatyuk and U.S. businessman Nicholas Piazza for allegedly siphoning $1 billion out of Bakhmatyuk's UkrLandFarming.

Gramercy has also started a separate proceeding in Cyprus, where Bakhmatyuk allegedly transferred his assets, aiming to freeze them worldwide.

Bakhmatyuk denies any wrongdoing. According to Bloomberg Law, on Sept. 26, he asked a federal appeals court to end racketeering litigation against him and launched an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. 

In a separate case in Ukraine, Bakhmatyuk is accused of embezzling a $49-million stabilization loan that the government gave to his bank VAB in 2014. The businessman denies it.

The Kyiv Independent news desk
The Kyiv Independent news desk

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