MTS subsidiary declared bankrupt in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, April 22 / Trend, D. Azizov /

The Tashkent Economic Court granted the request of creditors on Monday and decided to declare Uzdunrobita LLC (a fully-owned subsidiary of Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) in Uzbekistan) bankrupt.

Uzdunrobita and the liquidator appointed by the court have begun liquidation proceedings. Under Uzbek legislation, liquidation of the company is to be completed within a year.

The court's decision provides an opportunity for the debtor and creditors to sign a settlement agreement and stop liquidation proceedings.

It was reported that a meeting of Uzdunrobita's creditors in early March decided to seek the operator's liquidation and appealed to the Commercial Court of Tashkent with an application for bankruptcy. The court extended a procedure of temporary governance in Uzdunrobita until April 22.

Uzdunrobita, the largest Uzbek mobile operator, has been under inspection since last June. In July, MTS disconnected the network throughout Uzbekistan at the request of the State Communication Inspector.

In August 2012, the Tashkent Economic Court upheld the application of the Uzbek Agency for Communication and Information (UzACI) to revoke all licenses of Uzdunrobita.

The regulator accused the company of operating its subsidiaries without obtaining separate licenses.

According to UzACI's calculations, non-payment of fees for licenses has caused damage to the state in the amount of 419 billion soum, whereas subsidiaries themselves illegally earned up to 306 billion soum by selling services.

On September 17, the Tashkent City Criminal Court passed sentences on cases of four Uzdunrobita managers, sentencing them to fines and different terms of correctional works and deciding to transfer the entire property Uzdunrobita to the state.

In early November, the Board of Appeals for Criminal Cases of Tashkent City Court partially satisfied the complaint of Uzdunrobita, cancelling the decision on transferring its property to the state.

The Board has determined the amount of financial claims to "Uzdunrobita" to be $ 600 million with the possibility of payment by installments over an 8-month period.

Moreover, the Board recognized "Uzdunrobita" as the civil respondent in the criminal case against four of its employees and cancelled the property arrest imposed by the first instance court. The first instance verdict against the company's managers remained in force.

The total amount of claims made by the Prosecutor General's Office, antimonopoly bodies, Agency for Communication and Information and tax bodies against the company exceeds $1 billion. This is the amount of MTS's investments made in the development of business in Uzbekistan.

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