Yukos's bankruptcy receiver will appeal against the ruling of an Amsterdam court against the sale of Netherlands-based Yukos Finance B.V., a spokesman said on Thursday.
Following a suit by two dismissed top managers of Yukos Finance, Bruce Misamore and David Godfre, the court in Amsterdam ruled on Wednesday that the company's sale in August had been illegal. The court said Eduard Rebgun, appointed Yukos receiver by a Russian court, had no right to dismiss or appoint employees.
"The bankruptcy receiver will take all measures to appeal against this ruling," said Rebgun's spokesman Nikolai Lashkevich, quoting his boss as saying the Amsterdam court ruling ran counter to international law.
Yukos Finance was bought at an auction on August 15 by the little-known Promneftstroi allegedly representing Rosneft, Russia's largest crude producer, for 7.8 billion rubles (about $307 million). It was then sold on to Monte-Valle owned by American businessman Stephen Lynch.
On May 24, the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam concluded that Rebgun was a lawful representative of Yukos Finance and was entitled to dismiss Godfre and Misamore and replace them with his representatives, Sergei Shmelkov and Morris Hoogerbrugge.
However on Wednesday, the court in Amsterdam obliged Rebgun to immediately comply in annulling all his decisions on Yukos Finance and their consequences. The court said that if Rebgun failed to carry through the order, he would be fined 10,000 euros for every violation and 1,000 euros for each day it lasts.
Yukos, once Russia's largest oil company, was declared bankrupt on August 1, 2006, after three years of litigation with tax authorities over arrears. Its founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, is serving an eight-year prison sentence in Siberia for fraud and tax evasion.
Last Friday, Rebgun said that payments to Yukos creditors had been completed, with claims for 76 billion rubles ($3 billion) outstanding.
The liquidation of Yukos was widely seen as part of the Kremlin's drive to regain control over the country's oil and gas sector. Most of the company's main assets fell into the hands of Rosneft through the liquidation process, making the state company Russia's largest oil producer. ( RIA )