MTS-Uzbekistans’s property put for auction

Business Materials 4 June 2013 15:36 (UTC +04:00)

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, June 4 /Trend D.Azizov/

'Property belonging to FE Uzdunrobita LTD (a subsidiary of Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) in Uzbekistan) is being put up for auction with the starting price of 600 billion Uzbekistani soms', the declaration of the creditors' meeting, published in the local media on Tuesday reports.

The auction is planned to be held on July 1, 2013.

The amount of the deposit for participation will constitute 20 per cent from the starting price. Applications for taking part in the bidding will be accepted from June 28 2013.

As was previously reported in January 2013, Uzdunrobita filed a petition to declare its bankruptcy in the Tashkent Economic Court. In late April, the Economic Court granted the request of creditors and decided to recognise the company's bankruptcy and open liquidation proceedings for a period of one year

Beginning from the June 2012 testing was initiated in relation to Uzdunrobita which is one of the largest mobile communication operators in Uzbekistan.

Attorney General's office sanctioned the seizure of the original documents and property's inventory resulting in several arrests and mass interrogation of company employees being carried out. From July 17, on the demand of the state inspection of communication, MTS turned off its networks throughout the whole territory of Uzbekistan.

In August the Economic Court of Tashkent supported the statement of the Uzbek Agency for Communications and Informatization on the withdrawal of all licenses from Uzdunrobita.

The Uzbek prosecutor's office accused the leading managers of Uzdunrobita over a withdrawal of funds from the company by purchasing the equipment at inflated prices, as well as in 'organizing a criminal group in order to extract the uncontrolled profit'.

In September, the Tashkent City Criminal Court gave its verdict against four managers of Uzdunrobita and sentenced them to fines and to different terms of correctional labour and decided to transfer the entire property of Uzdunrobita into the income of the state.

In November the board of appeals of the Tashkent City Criminal Court partially satisfied the claim of Uzdunrobita and reversed the decision of the lower court on transferring its assets to the state.

The board has determined the amount of financial claims to Uzdunrobita as being 600 million US dollars, with the possibility of paying this amount in instalments over a period of eight months.

In addition, the board recognised Uzdunrobita as a civil defendant in a criminal case against four of its employees and took the arrestment from the company's property imposed by a court of first instance. The verdict of the first instance in relation to the managers was upheld.

The total amount of the claims of the General Prosecutor's Office, antimonopoly authorities, Uzbek Agency for Communications and Informatization and tax authorities against the company are more than one billion dollars which is equivalent to the amount of investments put into the development of the MTS business in Uzbekistan.

The official exchange rate on June 4 - 2084.95 sum / $1.